Friday, March 20, 2015

The Librarians Are Doing PowerPoint Comedy

PowerPoint comedy” sounds like an oxymoron, but librarians love it.

Events called “PowerPoint karaoke,” or “battle decks” have been popping up in comedy clubs and corporate retreats, mixing the familiar but unloved style of PowerPoint talks with improvised comedy. In these events, the subject of a Page One story in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal, participants must give an impromptu speech – a sermon about singer Kanye West or a business pitch for robot vending machines – to accompany slides the presenter hasn’t seen before.

These goofball events have gained a foothold with professional improv comedians, office workers who have endured too many dull PowerPoint presentations, and librarians. Several state library associations, the Association of College and Research Libraries and the American Library Association host competitive PowerPoint karaoke events at their annual conferences.

More from the Wall Street Journal.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Neil Gaiman On The Importance of Libraries, Reading, and Daydreaming

From Departing the Text:

The following is a speech I found at posted October 15, 2013. It advocates the importance of reading, of fiction and of libraries as well as our obligation to support them.

If you're anything like me there just isn't enough time in your day to get to everything you want to.

So for you (and actually for me as well), I want to park an article I found here. I've already read it once, but this is the kind of thing that writers, teachers, and folks interested in creating, need to look at and read more than once. I warn you, it's long, but worth the time when you find it. This article was found at and posted online Tuesday, October 15, 2013.

So read (or re-read) it now, read it on the train or bus to or from work, read it while waiting for someone, or leave it parked here and revisit it later when there's more time. It's empowering.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Black Activists and National Reconstruction

While even the most so-called Radical Republicans envisioned reconstruction as something for the former Confederate States of America alone, northern black activists understood that the entire nation required reformation.

Join with Douglas Egerton, PhD, LeMoyne College, as he speaks to the topic of race and politics in the post-Civil War era. Drawing on an array of scholarly monographs, local newspapers and other sources, Egerton paints a dramatic portrait of on-the-ground struggles for equality in an era of great hope and brutal disappointment.

 His most recent book, "The Wars of Reconstruction: the Brief, Violent History of America's Most Progressive Era (2014), will be available for sale.

When: Friday, April 17, 2015
Where: Bush Memorial, Russell Sage College,  Troy,  NY
Cost: $10 per person for Opening Address and Reception
Sponsored by: Underground Railroad History Project and Russell Sage College
Full Conference Event Details: or (518) 432-4432

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Albany library bringing 3D printing to the masses

From WNYT:

Books aren't the only things you'll find at the Albany Public Library these days.

In the Albany Made Creative Lab, Albany Public Library users will soon have access to a sewing machine, craft laser cutter, audio and video recording, editing and mixing equipment, a textile screen press, tools and the main attraction -- a 3D printer.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Your "dialing for dollars" critical to saving millions for library programs

From the American Library Association:

Congress’ process for funding programs is in full swing and millions in federal funding for libraries hang in the balance. There’s never enough money to go around, and Members are always looking for programs to "zero out" so they can reallocate those budgets to their pet projects. Right now, the real keys to saving library funding from the chopping block – particularly the Library Services Technology Act (LSTA) and Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) programs — are the members of the powerful House and Senate Appropriations Committees. Your Representative in the House and two Senators have influence with those Committee members, so it’s important that your Members let the Appropriations Committee know of their support for continued library funding.

The best way for them to do that is to sign what we call "Dear Appropriator" letters that three Members of Congress who are huge library champions have drafted to the members of the Appropriations Committees in the House and Senate. The more Members of Congress that we can get to sign these "Dear Appropriator" letters, the better the chance of preserving and securing real money for libraries.

But there’s a catch – Members of Congress generally only add their names to "Dear Appropriator" letters if they hear from their own constituents. Right now, it’s your Representative in the House who needs to sign LSTA and IAL "Dear Appropriator" letters.

With the March 20 deadline for signatures fast approaching, it’s urgent that you email or phone your own Representative today by calling (202) 225-3121, asking the Operator to connect you to your Representative’s office (you can find out who that is easily here) and ask the person who answers to ask their boss to add their name to "Dear Appropriator" letters supporting LSTA and IAL currently being circulated by our champions in Congress. To see whether your Members of Congress signed the letters last year, view the FY 2015 Funding Letter Signees document (pdf). If so, please be sure to thank and remind them of that when you email or call!
We’ll be back to you in a few days to ask that you do the same with your two Senators, but right now it’s all hands on deck for the House push.

Background material can be found on District Dispatch.


The University at Albany, State University of New York (UAlbany) invites nominations and applications for the position of Dean and Director of Libraries. This is an exceptional opportunity for an accomplished and innovative leader who will advance the UAlbany Libraries as a strong advocate for the essential role of the library in learning, teaching, and research at UAlbany.

Founded in 1844, UAlbany is the oldest university campus in the State University of New York (SUNY) system, the largest comprehensive university system in the nation. This year UAlbany is educating 12,950 undergrads and 4,650 graduate students within its eight Colleges: College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, School of Education, College of Computing and Information, Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy, School of Criminal Justice, School of Social Welfare, and School of Public Health. (Established this year, the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity will be the ninth UAlbany College.) Located in New York's capital city, the University at Albany is a neighbor to nineteen other colleges in the Capital Region and is 150 miles north of New York City.

In 2011, the State University of New York and the Office of the Governor embarked on a groundbreaking partnership to establish the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program to elevate SUNY as a catalyst for regional economic development and affordable education. Under UAlbany's NYSUNY 2020 initiative, faculty and researcher hires across the University-wide strategic initiatives will add $117 million in cumulative research expenditures to an already substantial portfolio. With a significant investment in new researchers and support staff, NYSUNY
2020 will be the cornerstone to one of the largest hubs for innovation and R&D in the nation ( UAlbany has dynamic new leadership in President Robert Jones and Provost James Stellar, which will lead to many opportunities for the University to become engaged in new programming, research and collaborative initiatives.

The UAlbany Libraries hold membership in the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and house one of the largest collections in the SUNY system, providing holdings including 2,252,934 print volumes, 2,939,471microforms, 80,144 e-journals and 123,776 e-books to users around the world. The Libraries offer a broad range of in-person and online research and reference services as well as a strong program of information literacy instruction. The University employs 63 faculty and 33 staff members in three libraries: the University Library, the Science Library, and the Dewey Graduate Library.

Key opportunities and challenges for the new Dean will include providing visionary leadership for the UAlbany Libraries; being a strong advocate and spokesperson for the Libraries; leading and further developing a strong, service-oriented faculty and staff; leveraging the Libraries' financial resources wisely and generating additional funding to improve growth and services; valuing and advancing diversity and inclusion efforts; participating effectively in system-level and national collaborations; and guiding and evaluating the adoption of technology.

The Dean and Director of Libraries position represents an outstanding opportunity for an experienced library leader with a history of collaborative and innovative leadership, including managing human, financial, technological, and physical resources. The successful candidate will have a Master of Library Science (MLS) degree from an ALA-accredited library school or its equivalent. A Ph.D. is preferred but not required. The successful candidate will also possess a record of research, publication and service to support appointment to full librarian status; career development that shows progressively responsible and demonstrated leadership experience in an academic or research library; an understanding of the major challenges facing academic research libraries today; a collaborative leadership style that could foster initiatives within the library, across the campus, across the SUNY system, and nationally; demonstrated leadership in fostering and advancing diversity within an organization; public presence and the ability to represent the University effectively in outreach, development, and cooperative relationships; excellent managerial, organizational, communication, interpersonal and problem solving skills; and knowledge of digital trends and experience in a technology-driven information environment.

Review of nominations and applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. All inquiries, nominations/referrals and applications (including resumes and letters of interest responding to the position challenges and objectives outlined above) should be sent electronically and in confidence to:

Beverly Brady
Isaacson, Miller
263 Summer Street
Boston, MA 02210

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Road Closures and Parking Restrictions for both St. Patrick’s Day Parades, City of Albany March 14, 2015

North Albany Limerick Parade – 11:30 a.m-1 p.m.

The North Albany Limerick Parade route:
Kick Off – N. First Street west of N. Pearl Street at the North Albany American Legion Post; parade will proceed east to N. Pearl Street, then south of N. Pearl Street to Emmett Street; east on Emmett St to Broadway; North on Broadway to Wolfert Avenue in the Village of Menands; back south on S. Pearl Street to N. First Street

Road Closures:
N. First Street between Broadway and Van Rensselaer Ave.
N. Pearl Street between Wolfert Ave and Emmett St.
Broadway between Wolfert Ave and Emmett St.
N. Second Street, eastbound at Broadway & eastbound and westbound at N. Pearl St.
N. Third Street, eastbound at Broadway & eastbound and westbound at N. Pearl St.
Lawn Avenue, westbound at Broadway & eastbound and westbound at N. Pearl St.
Bonheim Street, eastbound at Broadway & eastbound and westbound at N. Pearl St.
Lindbergh Avenue, eastbound at Broadway & eastbound and westbound at N. Pearl St.

Albany St. Patrick’s Day Parade, 2PM – 4PM
Parade Route:
Central Avenue starting at Quail Street, parade will proceed east on Central Avenue to Washington Avenue; then east on Washington Avenue to State Street; east on State Street to Lodge Street.

Road Closures:

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Librarians & Libraries in Comic Books

LIS workers of all categories are quite commonly utilized in fictional settings, as main and supporting characters, as well as for incidental run-ins with those primary persons.

How exactly are those info-professionals portrayed, in both personality and in comportment? Does it depend on the medium, whether in film or novel, or sequential art? Are secondary characters more likely to be shown as negative librarian stereotypes than primary protagonists?

More from INALJ