Tuesday, December 10, 2013

35 Years Of Newscast Recordings To Be Digitized, Archived

A librarian who faithfully taped 35 years of TV news with the hope that one day it would prove to be valuable, searchable historical material did not live to see her dream realized.

But the vision of Philadelphia resident Marion Stokes, who died last year at 83, will become a reality now that her 140,000 video cassettes are being archived in an online library.

The trove, which totals about a million hours of newscasts, is expected to arrive Tuesday at the Internet Archive in Richmond, Calif., where it will be digitized and made available to the public, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported (http://bit.ly/1ksefVO).

"We were awestruck by two things," said Roger Macdonald, the virtual library's director of TV archives. "One, the size of the collection. And two, the human story behind it, that one person could create so extensive a collection."

The massive collection ... includes local news shows from Philadelphia between 1986 and 2012, and broadcasts from Boston, where she once lived, from 1977 to 1986. All the while, she also recorded national news and cable channels, leading to her to run several VCRs simultaneously 24 hours a day.

More from Huffington Post.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Has your e-mail password been compromised? Check this out.

From friend Arthur:

Were you caught up in all the recent databases that were compromised (Adobe, Stratfor, Gawker, Yahoo!, Pixel Federation and Sony)? There's a site where you can check your email address(es) to see, since the big companies aren't doing much to help their customers. http://haveibeenpwned.com

Have I been pwned? allows you to search across multiple data breaches to see if your email addresses has been compromised.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Smithsonian Releases 3-D Collection

The Smithsonian X 3D Collection features objects from the Smithsonian that highlight different applications of 3-D capture and printing, as well as digital delivery methods for 3-D data in research, education and conservation.

The explorer contains a variety of tools for examining these objects. Users will be able to rotate the objects, take accurate measurements between points and adjust color and lighting. The explorer also has a storytelling feature, which allows Smithsonian curators and educators to create guided tours of the models. The explorer is also embeddable on non-Smithsonian websites, blogs and social media.

More from The Smithsonian.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


12 Days of Reading -- Monday, Dec. 2, to Saturday, Dec. 14 -- Howe Branch

Children and teens are encouraged to stop by during regular hours and select a set of specially wrapped books to take home. Each day, one set of books will hold a golden ticket that gets the lucky winner a prize. The prizes include movie tickets, gift cards, activity kits, and food items. When participants are done with a set of books, they can come back to the branch and get another set to read and see if they've won that day's golden ticket.

Holiday Crafts for Adults -- Monday, Dec. 2, 9, 16, 23 at 6 to 7:30 pm -- Delaware Branch

Adults can make a different craft project during each of the four sessions. Register at 463-0254. (Dec. 2: plaster figurines/Dec. 9: jewelry/Dec. 16: gift wrap/Dec. 23: lotions and perfumes)

Holiday Terrarium Craft -- Thursday, Dec. 5, at 4 pm -- Delaware Branch

Youngsters ages 9 to 17 can learn how to create a tiny garden in a glass jar that is perfect for gift giving. Registration is required by calling 463-0254.

Holiday Gift Making -- Saturday, Dec. 7, 14, 21 at 2 pm -- Main Library

Children ages 5 to 17 can make a different holiday gift at each of three crafting sessions in the Main Library Children's Room.

Holiday Sing-along -- Friday, Dec. 20, at 5 pm -- Delaware Branch

Guitarist Joe Finn will lead a sing-along of holiday tunes geared toward children and families.

Holiday Harp Performance -- Saturday, Dec. 21, at 2 pm -- Pine Hills Branch

Harpist Dahr will play a selection of holiday music.

Winter Extras -- Monday, Dec. 23, and Thur-Fri, Dec. 26-27 at 2 to 4 pm -- Pine Hills Branch

Children and teens can make their own art projects using the library's supplies.

LIBRARY CLOSED November 28 and 29.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Lydia Davis

Lydia Davis, UAlbany Professor and the 2013 winner of the Man Booker International Prize for Fiction, will be speaking at the Albany Public Library on Saturday, December 7.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Declaration for the Right to Libraries Signing Event

Barbara Stripling, the current president of the American Library Association has made the cornerstone of her presidency increasing public understanding of the value of libraries. As part of her initiative, she developed the Declaration for the Right to Libraries.

Dr. Stripling has invited all ALA members, ALA Chapters, library advocates and others to join forces in community-based signature campaigns.

Signed petitions will be forwarded to the U.S. Congress by library supporters during National Library Legislative Day activities on May 5 and 6, 2014.

At the University at Albany, the Student Chapter of the ALA will be having two signing events for the Declaration for the Right to Libraries:

Uptown in the University Campus Center on November 19th from 10am to 5pm.
Downtown in Husted Hall on November 20th from 2pm to 4:30pm.

We would love for you to join this endeavor – please feel free to drop by to support this worthwhile event.

More information may be found here

Friday, November 08, 2013

Creating the perfect world is trickier than you think

From Pando Daily:

In the movie "Ruby Sparks," a novelist played by Paul Dano falls in love with a character he’s written, whom he believes is the ideal woman. Eventually, she comes to life and they have a relationship. But despite the fact that he created her based on his image of the perfect girl, and can even alter her personality through his writing, he finds dating the real life Ruby to be much more complicated than he imagined.

The underlying message of the movie is that the novelist in the film created a shallow facsimile of a woman, because he didn't understand them enough to write one who is complete and complex.

It occurred to me that many Silicon Valley entrepreneurs view the world with the same overly simplistic short sightedness with which the novelist viewed women.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Finding Lieutenant Columbo

In 1974, a man named Fred L. Worth published "The Trivia Encyclopedia," a 300-plus page tome of minutiae One of the questions asked what [TV detective] Columbo's first name is, and Worth's book claimed that "Phillip" was the correct answer. This is incorrect... but it isn't an error per se. Worth made up the answer entirely and intentionally. He figured that if anyone other books subsequently claimed that Columbo's first name was Phillip, that publisher would have ultimately "learned" the fact from his book -- they had to have, because no one else could be the source for a fact that Worth had made up.

The trap worked. A while later, Trivial Pursuit published a board game which included a question about Columbo's first name, using "Phillip," not "Frank," as the correct answer. Worth sued, claiming that Trivial Pursuit has stolen his intellectual property by re-using his made-up fact (and likely, had plagiarized many other facts from his book) without credit or compensation. He demanded $300 million for the violation of his copyright.


Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Yertle the Turtle Quote Again Allowed in British Columbia Schools

More than a year after a quote from the Dr. Seuss classic Yertle the Turtle was banned from classrooms in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, a settlement has been reached allowing teachers to bring Yertle back to school.

The ban arose in April 2012 during a labor dispute. Teachers had previously gone on strike over “issues including wages, classroom conditions and the province’s response to a court ruling last year that found previous education legislation was unconstitutional,” but they were forced back to work by hastily passed provincial legislation. To continue their protest, many teachers displayed bumper stickers or wore t-shirts with quotes they found relevant. One of these was from Yertle the Turtle:

"I know up on top you are seeing great sights, but down here on the bottom, we too should have rights."

More from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund HERE.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Using Graphic Novels in Education: Boxers & Saints

Boxers & Saints (First Second Books, 2013) was recently placed on the short list for the 2013 National Book Award for Young Peoples Literature — the second time a graphic novel has been nominated. (The first American Born Chinese, also by Gene Yang, was nominated in 2006.)

We highlight Boxers and Saints here for two reasons: first, in honor of its prestigious nomination; but even more importantly, because this two-book set illustrates the importance of understanding and analyzing conflict from multiple perspectives, in the hope of teaching and reaching greater understanding and tolerance.

Boxers and Saints’ double volumes revisit the Chinese Boxer Rebellion (1899-1900), sensitively and evenhandedly relating Chinese peasants’ perspectives from each side of the conflict. Boxers tells the story of the illiterate peasants tired of being hungry, tired of failing farms, and tired of Chinese Christian ruffians who would steal, cheat and beat them while under Western protection.

More from Meryl Jaffe at the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund HERE.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Texas Man Arrested and Jailed for Overdue Library Book

While most libraries around the country are doing their best to remain relevant, one Texas town has decided to speed up its library's demise by threatening to arrest residents who don't return books on time.

A recently passed ordinance in Copperas Cove allows courts to issue arrest warrants for library patrons who have had a book checked out for over 90 days and have not responded to requests — by phone, email, or otherwise — to return the book.

More from Gawker.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The #@%& Joys of Library Work

By Roz Warren

I've worked behind the circulation desk at a suburban Philadelphia public library for over a decade and I'm happy to report that most of our patrons are pleasant, reasonable people who are a joy to deal with. And then there are the others:

The mother who admonishes her kids, at the top of her lungs, "Be quiet, you little turds. This is a library!"

The man who refuses to pay the overdue fine for returning a DVD late because he didn't enjoy watching it.

More HERE.

(I've HEARD the screaming mom myself recently - as in within the last month - who is WAY louder than whatever noise her kid was making.)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

November events: Friends of the APL

In addition to the weekly events on Tuesday at noon, please note the special Monday noon event on November 4 on the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Internet Wading: Learning history

From AmeriNZ:

History is nothing more or less than telling the stories of people in the past. It’s not about dates and events alone, but about the people who live through them—their hopes and fears and dreams, their triumphs, their failures and everything else that marks the passage of their lives.

The problem is that so much of history is hidden. Professional historians focus on what interests them (and fair enough), and also sometimes skip over things that don’t mesh well with their beliefs or prejudices. This is how so much history of minorities is lost.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Paying for a Threat

Imagine this: it’s the hottest day of the year. (Or, since we’re getting into Fall, the coldest.) Someone from your utility company calls to say they’re about to cut off your power. You check the caller ID, and it looks like the right number – at least, it’s in your area code. You know you've paid your bill, and you can’t imagine what happened – but you also know you can’t afford to lose power. So what do you do?

The caller tells you: I can stop this, but only if you pay me. And, naturally, he tells you how.

Up to this point, it’s the kind of scam we often see at the Federal Trade Commission. Consumers tell us every day about being tricked into wiring money or giving their credit card or bank account number to a very persuasive person – who turns out to be a first-rate scam artist. There are all sorts of scams: someone you know is in trouble and needs your help; you won a big, big prize, but you have to pay a fee before you can collect it; you can get a government grant, but you need to pay some fees – and so many other variations.

But this particular scam has its own variation on the scheme.

Read more from the Federal Trade Commission.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Crypto Locker malware ALERT

There is a serious piece of malware called “Crypto Locker” that is being circulated as an email attachment.

If Crypto Locker is successfully installed on a victim’s machine, it will encrypt all the data files stored on the computer’s hard drive.
In addition, the malware will also seek out and encrypt any data files it finds on Windows shared drives and folders. It will also encrypt cloud-based shares such as SkyDrive if you have these shares open on your computer.

Once all the accessible files have been encrypted, the victim’s computer will display a banner screen informing them that their files are encrypted and they have 72 hours to pay a ransom, generally $300, for the key to recover their files. If the ransom is not paid, the files remain encrypted. If no plain-text originals are stored as back-ups, the data contained in the files is irrecoverably lost.

Recent victims were exposed to Crypto Locker when they clicked on email attachments labeled “Remit.zip” with a subject line of “FW: Last Month Remit.”

The only effective defense against Crypto Locker is prevention. Please--DO NOT--click on any email attachments, or links in messages, if you have not personally identified and confirmed with the sender that the content is legitimate.

Please exercise great care in this matter as this malware represents a serious threat to organizational and personal information.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Neil Gaiman on libraries, literacy, imagination, the future-

It's important for people to tell you what side they are on and why, and whether they might be biased. A declaration of member's interests, of a sort. So, I am going to be talking to you about reading. I'm going to tell you that libraries are important. I'm going to suggest that reading fiction, that reading for pleasure, is one of the most important things one can do. I'm going to make an impassioned plea for people to understand what libraries and librarians are, and to preserve both of these things.

And I am biased, obviously and enormously: I'm an author, often an author of fiction. I write for children and for adults. For about thirty years I have been earning my living though my words, mostly by making things up and writing them down. It is obviously in my interest for people to read, for them to read fiction, for libraries and librarians to exist and help foster a love of reading and places in which reading can occur.

So I'm biased as a writer.

But I am much, much more biased as a reader. And I am even more biased as a British Citizen.

And I'm here giving this talk tonight, under the auspices of the Reading Agency: a charity whose mission is to give everyone an equal chance in life by helping people become confident and enthusiastic readers. Which supports literacy programs, and libraries and individuals and nakedly and wantonly encourages the act of reading. Because, they tell us, everything changes when we read.

And it's that change, and that act of reading that I'm here to talk about tonight. I want to talk about what reading does. What it's good for.

More HERE.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Library building inspired by brain

From BoingBoing:

Felix Loechner created a gorgeous photo series documenting the Philologische Bibliothek on the campus of the Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin. Designed by architect Norman Foster, the library's form was inspired by the human brain.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Most Famous Book Set In Every State

Local literature can be a surprising source of home state pride, no matter where you're from.

We found the most famous book set in each state. How many have you read? Check out the annotated map

Read more HERE.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Iceland: Where one in 10 people will publish a book

From the BBC:

Iceland is experiencing a book boom. This island nation of just over 300,000 people has more writers, more books published and more books read, per head, than anywhere else in the world.

It is hard to avoid writers in Reykjavik. There is a phrase in Icelandic, "ad ganga med bok I maganum", everyone gives birth to a book. Literally, everyone "has a book in their stomach". One in 10 Icelanders will publish one.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

10 words to cut from your writing

As Mark Twain famously wrote, "I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead." His point? Strong writing is lean writing.

When you want to make your writing more powerful, cut out words you don't need—such as the 10 included in this post.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Librarians: Will They Evolve or Go Extinct?

Salary.com has an article: 12 Jobs on the Brink: Will They Evolve or Go Extinct? The subtitle: Find Out If Your Job is on the Endangered Occupations List.

First up: Librarian: Shelved or renewed?

Verdict: Evolved. Although virtual media and the Internet search deleted the Dewey decimal system, people still enjoy reading books the old-fashioned way and appreciate research help. The new librarian is a digital archivist, savvy with searches, keywords and helpful websites.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Copyright law columns for librarians

Do libraries have different copyright laws than other institutions or organizations? And are nonprofit and for profit libraries treated differently in the eyes of the copyright law? Where are some resources to read more about copyright law and librarians?

For several years now, Lesley Ellen Harris has been writing a column for Information Outlook, the publication of the Special Libraries Association (SLA). Some recent columns are now posted in the Resources section at www.Copyrightlaws.com. Future columns will be posted as they are published in Information Outlook. In case you are not a SLA member, this is an opportunity to read these columns.

Select Info Rights Columns Published in Information Outlook

July/August 2013: Congress Begins Review of U.S. Copyright Act

May/June 2013: Complying with Copyright When Using Social Media

July/August 2012: Volunteers are Copyright Owners, Too!

May/June 2012: US Copyright Law Refresher

March/April 2012: Using Primary and Secondary Resources to Understand Copyright Legislation

December 2011: The U.S. Copyright Office: The Next Two Years

Thursday, October 03, 2013

POSITION AVAILABLE: Head of branches, Albany Public Library

Albany Public Library
Position Available
Librarian III

General Statement of Duties:
Under the supervision of the Executive Director this position oversees all operations of three branch locations.

Job Description: The responsibilities include supervision of librarians, library assistants and library clerks throughout multiple busy urban branch locations listed above. The Head of Branches is responsible for hiring, mentoring, coaching, training, evaluations, scheduling, payroll and customer service. The Head of Branches must insure library policies and procedures are followed as well as lead by example. At times the Head of Branches would also be responsible for working at the circulation and reference desk as needed. Other duties include the development and presentation of library programming and other duties as assigned.

Additional Desired Skills and Abilities: In addition to meeting the minimum qualifications for the position, the ideal candidate should possess excellent communication skills; display an enthusiastic commitment to customer centered public library service; embrace the opportunity to work with a diverse customer base; demonstrate the ability to lead and manage the work of a team; and exhibit an innovative and creative approach to problem solving. The ideal candidate should be able to prioritize, multi-task and have a good sense of humor.

Minimum Qualifications: Internal candidates must be currently classified as a Librarian III
Graduation from a registered college or university accredited by the American Library Association or registered by the NYS Education Department to grant degrees with a Master’s Degree* in Library Science, Information Services or equivalent and three (3) years of paid full-time professional library experience in a library of recognized standing, one (1) year of which must have been in an administrative** capacity over a complex operation.
*Minimum qualifications are in accordance with New York State Education Department Division
of Library Development.
**Administrative capacity is defined as spending the entire workweek planning, organizing, budgeting/allocating funds, staffing and communicating.

Special Requirement:
Eligibility and application for a New York State Public Librarian’s Professional Certificate at the time of appointment. A valid NYS Driver’s License is required at the time of appointment and for the duration of employment.

Schedule: Combination of day, evening and weekend hours

Salary: $54,536.74 annual with a very good benefit package

Deadline: Review of candidates will begin October 21, 2013

Apply to: Human Resources & Finance Manager
161 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12210

Tuesday, October 01, 2013


Award-Winning Series Starts Oct. 9 and Continues Weekly Through Oct. 30

APL offers a truly unique film-going experience in October with the return of the Silent Film Spectacular. This annual series features screenings of classic silent movies, accompanied by original scores written and performed live by talented local musicians.

This season's films range from the dramatic to the macabre. The Silent Film Spectacular events take place in the large auditorium of the Main Library at 161 Washington Avenue on four consecutive Wednesday evenings (Oct. 9, 16, 23, 30) at 7 pm. The performances are free and open to the public. For more information, please call 427-4349.

This year's Silent Film Spectacular programs are:

Oct. 9-- "The Lodger" with live, original music by Ryan Slowey, Meg Duffy, Sean Fortune, Chris Jordan, and Tommy Krebs

"The Lodger" is Alfred Hitchcock's 1927 film about a landlady who is beginning to suspect that her tenant is a serial killer. Musicians from local bands Maggot Brain, Hand Habits, The Slaughterhouse Chorus, and Alta Mira come together as a silent film supergroup for one night only.

Oct. 16 -- "The Adventures of Prince Achmed" with live, original music by lastdayshining

This 1926 release is the oldest surviving animated feature film and uses paper and lead cutouts to illustrate the Arabian Nights story. Albany-based lastdayshining is a hard-hitting post-rock band with a sound characterized by expressive instrumental buildups that travel through a range of dynamic changes from quiet lows to bone-crushing highs.

Oct. 23 -- "The Wind" with live, original music by Blacklight Lighthouse

"The Wind" is a 1928 romantic drama featuring visual poetry of natural forces and their dramatic role in controlling human destiny. Blacklight Lighthouse is a musical duo that works in the collage mode to create cinematic soundscapes using experimental and improvisational analog and digital instrumentation.

Oct. 30 -- "Waxworks" with live, original music by Helicoprion

"Waxworks," a rarely seen film from 1924, showcases three horror stories centered on the wax figures in a carnival show. Helicoprion creates orchestrated and improvised sounds on guitar, bass, percussion, and horns to give the audience a chilling and multisensory experience.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Albany school board candidates forum October 16

Three candidates are seeking two available seats on the City School District of Albany Board of Education this fall.

Current board members Sue Adler and Edith Leet both are running for re-election. Anthony Owens also will be on the Nov. 5 ballot.

The Albany City Council PTA and The League of Women Voters have scheduled a board candidates forum at Albany High School on Wednesday, Oct. 16 beginning at 6 p.m. The forum will provide an opportunity to meet the candidates and hear their vision for the future of Albany's public schools.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


Test Your Spelling Knowledge and Win Prizes on Oct. 10

Is your trivia team looking for a new challenge? Do you secretly yearn for the old days of weekly spelling tests in school? Sign up for our fun team spelling bee! We'll test your spelling prowess on Thursday, Oct. 10, at 6:30 pm at the Pine Hills Branch. Please register your team at 482-7911 ext. 230 or online.

Part traditional spelling bee, part written spelling test, only team-selected participants have to endure standing in the spotlight to speak into the microphone for the oral part of the bee. So, shy spellers are welcome too! Each round will feature words found in popular books. Start reading the dictionary to increase your chances of winning prizes.

Saturday, September 28, 2013


Name the one place where you can watch movies, trick-or-treat, learn a language, show off your spelling skills, take in an art exhibit, make holiday gifts, get help installing a car seat, write your memoir, and enjoy live musical performances? Albany Public Library, of course.

The library has dozens of activities, programs, and events -- all free and open to the public -- planned for the fall months. Read the APL program guide for October, November, and December for all the information!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Who’s Not Online and Why

From Pew Internet and American Life Project:

As of May 2013, 15% of American adults ages 18 and older do not use the internet or email.

Asked why they do not use the internet:

34% of non-internet users think the internet is just not relevant to them, saying they are not interested, do not want to use it, or have no need for it.
32% of non-internet users cite reasons tied to their sense that the internet is not very easy to use. These non-users say it is difficult or frustrating to go online, they are physically unable, or they are worried about other issues such as spam, spyware, and hackers. This figure is considerably higher than in earlier surveys.
19% of non-internet users cite the expense of owning a computer or paying for an internet connection.
7% of non-users cited a physical lack of availability or access to the internet.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Indie bookstores on the rise

The number of members of the American Booksellers' Association is slowly creeping up, a welcome sign after a steep decline from 5500 members in 1995 to 2191 in 2002. ABA is comprised of indie booksellers, and though the dominant narrative has it that the indies were slaughtered by Amazon, the numbers suggest that the decline had more to do with the rise of the big-box chain-stores (ironically, these are dead [Borders] or dying [B&N] and were almost certainly killed by Amazon).

More interesting is why the number of indie bookstores is growing:

More from BoingBoing

Monday, September 16, 2013

E-books Market Share at 22%

From Publishers Weekly:

E-books accounted for 22% of all book spending in the second quarter of 2012, only a one percentage point gain from the first quarter of the year, but up from 14% in the comparable period in 2011, according to new figures from Bowker Market Research. In the year-to-year comparison, the hardcover and trade paperback segments both lost two percentage points each to e-books, while mass market paperbacks’ share fell from 15% in the second quarter of 2011 to 12% in this year’s second period.

This handy chart accompanying the article gives figures for every type of outlet from Walmarts and supermarkets through indie bookstores to Amazon and other e-book sites.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


ALBANY—The Capital Region Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union will sponsor two “Read Outs” during this year’s national Banned Books Week. The events in Albany and Troy will feature regional notables—actors, writers, politicians, poets, and activists of all types—reading from books that have been banned or challenged in the United States.

The first Read-Out will be held on Tuesday, September 24 at 6 pm at the University Club, 141 Washington Avenue, Albany. The second event will take place as part of Troy Night Out on Friday, September 27 at 6 pm at Market Block Books, 290 River Street, Troy.

Both events are free and open to the public.

Melanie Trimble, NYCLU Chapter Director, said, “Our Constitution gives us the right to read what we want, and the best way to preserve that freedom is to exercise it. At a time when pervasive governmental spying on citizens is in the news daily, it is crucial that people come out to demonstrate their passionate commitment to constitutional freedoms.”

Every year there are hundreds of attempts to suppress books in our schools and libraries. During the first decade of our current century, the Office of Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association (ALA) recorded 5,099 challenges to books nationwide. And, since most banning attempts do not get widely reported, the organization estimates that the real number of attempted suppressions is at least four to five times higher.

Heading the most recent list of the country’s most frequently challenged books is Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants series. Runner up is Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

Many of America’s greatest novels have been the most consistently challenged works, among them: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Color Purple, Ulysses, Invisible Man, The Call of the Wild, Native Son, Rabbit, Run and An American Tragedy.

Many attempts to ban reading material are not necessarily mounted in the parts of the country where one might predict them to be. Substantial clusters of challenges can be found on both the East and West Coasts. One recent ALA survey, for example, counted five incidents each in Connecticut and Pennsylvania but only one each in Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Alabama. Maryland, New Jersey and Massachusetts recorded four challenges each. Nevada and Utah had none. Oregon had eight. The most active states were California, New York, Texas, Wisconsin and Florida which all recorded between 10 and 13 challenges apiece

National sponsors of Banned Books Week are the American Booksellers Association, American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, American Library Association, American Society of Journalists and Authors, Association of American Publishers, Freedom to Read Foundation, National Association of College Stores, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, National Coalition against Censorship, National Council of Teachers for English, PEN American Center, Project Censored.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

National Grandparents Day 2013: September 8

In 1970, Marian McQuade initiated a campaign to establish a day to honor grandparents. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a federal proclamation, declaring the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. This day has been celebrated every year since in honor of our nation's grandparents. The Census Bureau presents updates of statistics about their role and responsibilities in our society.

7 million

The number of grandparents whose grandchildren under age 18 were living with them in 2011.

More facts HERE.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Library Value in the Developing World

Raising awareness of how the library supports teaching and research staff is key to demonstrating library value in developing countries, concludes a new report published today. The findings are the result of a six-month research study with twelve developing country institutions conducted by SAGE exploring perceptions of the value of academic libraries by teaching and research staff in developing countries.

‘Library Value in the Developing World’ reports that developing country librarians are beginning to recognize the importance of evaluating their value for research and teaching staff. Communicating the value of their role however remains a key challenge. Librarians noted that whilst they receive positive feedback about the resource collections they provide, there is limited awareness of how librarians can better support research and teaching staff beyond these traditional parameters.

Outlined in the report are examples of best practice from the case study institutions, along with recommendations on how working relations between academic libraries and stakeholders could be enhanced.

* Direct link to document (PDF)

*Press Release

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Why it matters that you can't own an electronic copy of the OED

From BoingBoing:

In Cory Doctorow's latest Guardian column, he talks about "the digital versions of the Oxford English Dictionary and the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary, the two most important lexicographic references to the English language ... [he] was disturbed to learn that the digital editions of these books are only available as monthly rentals, services that come with expansive data-collecting policies and which cannot be owned.

"OUP – which has been selling dictionaries and thesauri since the 19th century – will not sell you a digital OED or HTOED. Not for any price.

"Instead, these books are rented by the month, accessed via the internet by logged-in users. If you stop paying, your access to these books is terminated.

"[He] mentioned this to some librarians at the American Library Association conference in Chicago this spring and they all said, effectively: 'Welcome to the club. This is what we have to put up with all the time.'"

Friday, August 23, 2013

E-Books vs. Print Books

Text from New Strategist.com

Three out of four Americans aged 16 or older read a book in the past 12 months, according to a Pew Internet and American Life survey. The figure peaks at 90 percent among 16-to-17-year-olds (many of whom are required to read books in high school) and bottoms out at 67 percent among people aged 65 or older.

Print still rules the book world, even in the younger age groups. Among 18-to-24-year-old book readers, 93 percent read a print book and 31 percent read an e-book in the past year. E-books are most popular among 30-to-49-year-old book readers, 41 percent having read an e-book and 85 percent a print book in the past year.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Black or African American? Hispanic or Latino?

From the New Strategist:

Which term do African Americans prefer? According to a Gallup survey, 65 percent of blacks say it does not matter whether the term "black" or "African American" is used.

There is little variation by age in this attitude, with the proportion of blacks who say either term is okay ranging from a low of 62 percent among 18-to-29-year-olds (with 20 percent preferring African American and 17 percent black) to a high of 73 percent among those aged 65 or older (with 16 percent preferring African American and 11 percent black).

Which term do Hispanics prefer? According to that same Gallup survey, 70 percent of Latinos say it does not matter whether the term "Latino" or "Hispanic" is used.

There is some variation by age in this attitude, however, with the proportion of Hispanics who say either term is okay ranging from a low of 53 percent among people aged 65 or older (with 33 percent preferring Hispanic and 14 percent Latino) to a high of 76 percent among 18-to-29-year-olds (with 16 percent preferring Hispanic and 7 percent Latino).

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Are Your Vaccinations Up to Date?

National Immunization Awareness Month is a reminder that people of all ages can protect their health by getting recommended vaccinations. Take a look at immunization schedules by age:
Children (birth through age 6)
Preteens and Teens (ages 7-18)
Adults (ages 19 and older)

Under the Affordable Care Act, immunizations are a preventive service that will be covered by all plans within the Health Insurance Marketplace and by many other health insurance plans.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Use Google as a timer

Need a count-down timer? Just head on over to Google and enter “set timer for” and your length of time. You’ll get an on-screen count-down, a graphical status bar that fills in as your reach zero, and an audible alarm when your time’s up.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

35 Library Stories You May Have Missed in July

This summer has been fantastic for library news, blogs posts, and articles. If you’re just getting caught up, here’s a list of library-related stories that will keep you busy!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Copyright actually makes books disappear

From HERE:

A random sample of new books for sale on Amazon.com shows three times more books initially published in the 1850’s are for sale than new books from the 1950’s. Why? This paper presents new data on how copyright seems to make works disappear,” runs the abstract of the study, How Copyright Makes Books and Music Disappear (and How Secondary Liability Rules Help Resurrect Old Songs), by Professor Paul J. Heald (pictured at left), of the University of Illinois College of Law, and visiting professor at the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management (CIPPM) at Britain’s Bournemouth University.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

CDTA Title VI hearings

(Albany, NY) - The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) has announced that public hearings will be held with respect to its Title VI policies. Title VI is a federal requirement that seeks to ensure that equity is considered when transit systems use federal funds to operate. CDTA fully supports the objectives of Title VI requirements which seek to:

Ensure that the level and quality of transit service is provided in a nondiscriminatory manner.

Promote full and fair participation in transit decision-making without regard to race, color, or national origin.

Ensure meaningful access to transit-related programs and activities by persons with limited English proficiency.

Albany County – Tuesday, August 27, 2013 (5:00pm-7:00pm)
Albany Public Library – Main Branch
161 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12210

Click here for more information on hearing dates

Friday, August 09, 2013

The Barber of Birmingham; Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement: short documentary shown at APL,

On Wednesday, August 14, 6 pm, come to the Washington Ave. Albany Public Library to watch a short documentary, The Barber of Birmingham; Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement, about Mr. James Armstrong, one of the unsung heroes of the Civil Rights Movement. Armstrong ran a voter education program out of his barbershop for 50 years, was a flag bearer in the 1965 March from Selma to Montgomery and repeated that role annually until his death in 2009.

This FREE screening and forum on a brief history of laws on voting, boundaries and barriers that restrict registration and access to the polls, the Voting Rights Act, Voter ID laws, eligibility, deadlines, where to vote, who is on the ballot, absentee voting and more is for all ages and experience levels. Bring your questions and join in the conversation.

Sponsored by the Community Coalition for Safe Engagement, Graduate Student Employees Union/CWA 1104 and Filling in the Gaps in American History (FIGAH).For more information, contact ange.clarke11@gmail.com.

“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” --Frederick Douglass

Infographic: Why Buy Used Books?

That's HERE

Used books are "often cheaper than an ebook, and when you know in advance that you will want to sell the book again (textbooks for example) the paper copy is often a much better deal."

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Why librarians are needed more than ever in the 21st century

In a 2010 interview with The Book Page, Neil Gaiman neatly set out the case for libraries and librarians in the 21st century; the remarks are even more relevant today, as libraries fight for a fair deal from publisher for ebooks, and with austerity-maddened local governments for their very survival.

More from BoingBoing.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Albany public schools, city and libraries to offer 'cooling stations'

The City School District of Albany, in cooperation with Mayor Gerald D. Jennings and Albany Public Library, is providing "cooling stations" for community members through Friday.

The cooling stations are located at:

Giffen Memorial Elementary School, 274 South Pearl St.
North Albany Academy, 570 North Pearl St.
Schuyler Achievement Academy, 676 Clinton Ave.
Delaware Branch of the Albany Public Library, 331 Delaware Ave.
Bach Branch of the Albany Public Library, 455 New Scotland Ave.

Each location will be open from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. through Friday. Water will be provided, and an emergency medical technician also will be on hand at each location.

For more information, contact the school district's administrative offices at 475-6000.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

School is out and summer reading is in at Albany Public Library

The Albany Public Library's Summer Reading Program encourages literacy by rewarding kids for reading from June 28 to August 23.

Prizes and special activities are designed to further engage youngsters in the world of books and reading. Participants register and record their reading in person at any of Albany Public Library's seven locations.

The APL Summer Reading Program has something for all ages:

For Kids Entering 1st through 12th Grade -- Kids and teens get a chance to earn prizes for reading and participating in reading-related activities. They can also visit their branch libraries for special activities, events, and parties.
For Babies and Toddlers -- In the Baby Bookworms program, parents read to their little ones for 15 minutes each day and fill out a reading record. Each child gets a new book in July and August.

For Adults -- Grownups can get in on the summer reading act too through Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Go to the Summer Reading Program Guide.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mapping America's Libraries and Museums

"There’s always that joke that there’s a Starbucks on every corner," says Justin Grimes, a statistician with the Institute of Museum and Library Services in Washington. "But when you really think about it, there’s a public library wherever you go, whether it’s in New York City or some place in rural Montana. Very few communities are not touched by a public library.”

In fact, libraries serve 96.4 percent of the U.S. population, a reach any fast-food franchise can only dream of.

Grimes built the map during the National Day of Civic Hacking, using the agency's database of public libraries. Each of those dots refers to an individual branch library (and a few bookmobiles), out of a total of 9,000 public library systems.

More HERE.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Survey of Library & Museum Digitization Projects, 2013 Edition

Primary Research Group, ISBN 978-157440-230-8.

This report, based on detailed data from approximately 80 libraries and museums in the USA, Canada, the UK, Australia, continental Europe and other countries and regions, looks closely at the collection digitization efforts, covering budgets, costs, fundraising, staffing and manpower, use of consultants, outsourcing, revenue generation, productivity, software, marketing, licensing, cataloging, rights management, content selection, and many other issues in collection-related digitization. Data is broken out separately by many variables including but not limited to size of institution, by type of material digitized (ie text, photographs, audio-video) and separately for libraries and museums and by type of library, ie, public, special and academic.

Just a few of the study’s many findings are that:
• Digitization projects or departments in the sample have a mean annual budget of $105,907 for digitization.
• 37.97% of survey participants have an unfavorable outlook for raising money for digitization from sources outside the main institutional budget.
• Digitization spending will increase somewhat to substantially among 45.45% of institutions focusing their digitization efforts on film, video and audio recordings.
• Special libraries in the sample have a mean of 6.87 employees doing digitization work of some kind and devote nearly 7,300 hours in staff time to this work annually.
• A mean of 19.23% of the physical exhibits staged by survey participants are accompanied by a substantial online exhibit that reproduces a significant portion of or adds to the exhibit in a significant way.
• Organizations or divisions that focus their digitization efforts on text documents have outsourced a mean of 30.7% of their digitization, nearly twice as much as those focusing their efforts on photographs.
• 11.11% of survey participants share an asset management system with other departments or divisions of their institution.

The 165 page study is available directly from Primary Research Group or from major book distributors such as Baker & Taylor, Midwest Library Services and Amazon, and through eBook distributors such as MyiLibrary and Overdrive. A PDF version of the study is currently available from Primary Research Group and a print version can be ordered as well. For a table of contents and sample pages, or to place an order, view our website at www.PrimaryResearch.com or call us at 212-736-2316.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Survey of the Use of Tablet Computers by Academic & Special Libraries

Primary Research Group , ISBN 978-157440-232-2

This special 80+page report is based on data from 78 academic and special libraries and looks closely at how they are using tablet computers. It helps librarians and information technology personnel to answer such questions as: what type of libraries are using tablets? What are they using them for? Which library departments are benefiting most from tablet use? Which brands of tablet are most popular? What are buying plans for the future? What stock of tablets do libraries have and how fast do they plan to expand this stock? How have tablet affected their ebook acquisition plans? What kind of apps do they use or develop for their tablets? Do they loan out tablets to patrons? On what terms? How long can patrons borrow them? Have they had losses due to theft? What is their overall budget for tablets and app development?

Just a few of the report’s many findings are that:
• 34% of the academic libraries in the sample loan out tablets to library patrons.
• Academic libraries in the sample plan to spend a mean of $2,210 on tablet computers in the next year.
• The number of tablets owned by the libraries in the sample ranged from 0 to 34.
• A majority of the libraries preferred the iPad over other brands for its availability of apps, readability and high level of demand from patrons. However, several libraries disliked the iPad because of lack of durability and high price.
• 12% of academic libraries have had a tablet computer stolen or lost by a patron.

A PDF version is available from Primary Research Group for $75.00, and a print version of the report is ready to ship; site licenses are also available. The report is also available through major book distributors and report sellers. To place an order to for a table of contents, list of survey participants and a free excerpt, view our website at www.PrimaryResearch.com or call us at 212-736-2316.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Survey of Library Use of Open Source Software

Primary Research Group Inc., ISBN 978-157440-239-1

This 125+ page report looks closely at how public, academic and special libraries are using open source solutions for email, integrated library systems, word processing and spreadsheets, the library website, server management, and content management and digital preservation software, among other applications. The study looks at which libraries use open source and which use commercial software and why. The study helps librarians and library information technology staff to answer questions such as: what are the most popular open source applications? How much of an IT or software support staff must a library have to succeed with open source alternatives? How much do libraries spend in supporting open source solutions in both funding and staff time? How much does the use of open source software save them? What areas of library operations have been most impacted by open source? How many open source solutions are libraries of different size staffs and different types using? How many have started with an open source solutions in a given area and then abandoned it? How do libraries evaluate their own success or failure with open source? What are the open source solutions they are most anxious to try in the future? Which outside services do they recommend to support open source alternatives? Which information sources about open source do they find most useful?

Just a few of the study’s major findings include:
• Nearly 91% of respondents said that they had never experienced any downtime using open source email alternatives.
• More than two thirds of the libraries sampled have ever replaced a commercial software system with an open source alternative.
• Nearly 43% of the academic libraries in the sample use an open source alternative for content management software.
• Public libraries in the sample spent a mean of 960 staff hours per year in adjusting or maintaining open source software systems.

The study is available from Primary Research Group for $95.00. A pdf version of the report is currently available and a print version will be ready to ship on May 12, 2013 and can be ordered now. Site licenses are also available. Our reports can also be ordered through major book and Ebook distributors, as well as through major research report distributors. For a table of contents, list of participants, questionnaire and free excerpt, or to place an order, visit our website at www.PrimaryResearch.com.

The questionnaire for the report was largely designed by Frederick Zarndt, consultant to Digital Divide Data, Content Conversion Specialists, DL Consulting and Chair, Newspaper Section, International Federation of Libraries and Associations.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Library Use of the Mega Internet Sites, 2013 Edition

Primary Research Group, ISBN 978-157440-241-4

The study looks closely at how libraries are using Google, Pinterest, Yahoo, Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, Amazon, Bing, Instagram, Vimeo, Twitter, Ebay and many other major internet sites. Just a few of the findings from the study are that:

• 4.17% of the libraries have workshops which teach patrons to use Craigslist
• 25% of the libraries sampled give workshops on how to use Wikipedia
• 90% of college libraries sampled give workshops on how to use Google Scholar.
• A third of legal and corporate libraries sampled considered Google Translate to be “highly useful”.
• Nearly 43% of libraries with an annual budget of more than $1 million considered Bing to be “highly useful”.
• The mean number of subscribers to the Twitter accounts of the libraries in the sample was 323.
• Non-USA libraries were much more likely than US-libraries to consider MySpace useful.
• About 23% of the libraries sampled had a YouTube account.
• Public libraries in the sample spent a mean of $8,000 ordering books from Amazon in the past year.
• 12.5% of libraries sampled use FlickR in their professional work.

The 160+ page study is available from Primary Research Group for $72.00. A pdf version of the report is currently available and a print version will be ready to ship on June 5, 2013 and can be ordered now. Site licenses are also available. Our reports can also be ordered through major book and Ebook distributors, as well as through major research report distributors. For a table of contents, list of participants, and free excerpt, or to place an order, visit our website at www.PrimaryResearch.com

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Survey of Public Library Plans for Workstations, Personal Computers, Laptops and other Computing Devices

ISBN 978-157440-243-8.

The study looks at the purchasing plans and computer use policies of public libraries in the United States and Canada.

The report helps librarians, information technology professionals and vendors answer questions such as: which brands of personal computers are favored by public librarians? What are their purchasing plans for laptops, eBook readers, fixed computer workstations and tablet computers? How much do they plan to spend? What are their plans for “information commons” and computer centers? How many such centers do they maintain and how much do they now and in the future plan to spend on them?

Just a few of the study’s many findings are that:
• The public library systems in the sample spent a mean of $47,357 for personal computers and workstations in the past year.
• Public libraries with more than 10 employees purchased a mean of 3.71 laptop computers in the past year.
• Libraries with a budget of less than $100,000 had an average stock of only 1.31 laptops.
• The libraries in the sample spent a mean of $824 to pay for laptops lost to theft or misplacement in the past year.
• The libraries in the sample spent a mean of $483 on eBook reading devices in 2012.
• 44.9% of the libraries currently own or lease an Amazon Kindle.
• 18.37% of the libraries plan on purchasing a Barnes & Noble Nook over the next two years.
• Main public libraries had an average of 3.29 “computer centers” or “information commons” in their main library.
• 23.08% of libraries with a budget higher than $1 million and 37.5% of public library systems have invested between $500 and $5,000 in iPhone technology.
• 94.44% of libraries with 1 to 10 FTE employees have made no investment in Android-based phone technology.

The report ($59.00) is available from Primary Research Group and also from major book vendors such as Amazon, Baker & Taylor, Yankee Book Peddler, Midwest Library Services, Overdrive and other distributors of content. For a free excerpt, table of contents and list of survey participants, or to place an order, visit our website at www.PrimaryResearch.com.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Computer and Internet Use in the United States: 2011

In 2011, more Americans connected to the Internet than ever before, although differences continued to exist between those with use and those without. Just as with differences in use, variation in the ways that people were connecting online and the frequency of their use remained prevalent as well. This report provides household and individual level
analysis of computer usage and Internet use. The findings are based on data collected in a July 2011 supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS), which includes questions about computer ownership, Internet use both inside and outside the home, and the additional devices that people use to go online. The U.S. Census Bureau has asked questions in the CPS about computer use since 1984 and Internet use since 1997.

In 2011, 75.6 percent of households reported having a computer, compared with only 8.2 percent in 1984 (the first year that the Census Bureau asked about computer ownership), and 61.8 percent in 2003 (the last time the Census Bureau asked about computers prior to 2010).

Monday, June 17, 2013

Find Your Local Farmers' Markets

The products vary from market to market--based on what's locally grown or raised--but many farmers' markets sell fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, and other items.

Using USDA's directory of farmers' markets, enter your ZIP code to find a market in your area. If you'd like to narrow down the options, specify the items you're seeking and your payment and location preferences.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Inside Guantanamo's library

Charlie Savage writes in the New York Times of the books on offer to prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, which include a set of Indiana Jones novelizations, some Star Trek: TNG novels, Ender's Game, Arabic editions of Danielle Steele, and some Captain America graphic novels. Some of the prisoners arrived in Gitmo able to read English, other have learned during their 10-year incarceration. One lawyer brought in copies of Nineteen Eighty-Four for his client, Shaker Aamer, who said, "it perfectly captured the psychological reality of being at Gitmo."

More HERE.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Garage Bands in the Garage @ Albany Public Library

From Nippertown.

You might not realize.. that the Albany Public Library is... a pretty damn fine music venue.

Back again for a another summer season is the Garage Bands in the Garage free concert series, held in the garage at the rear of the Washington Avenue main branch of the Albany Public Library.

The monthly concerts take place at 6pm on the third Friday of the month between now and September, and they’ve got some mighty fine bands lined up to play for you this year.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Note current hours of Albany (NY) Public Library main branch

From the crowd waiting just after 9 a.m. Thursday, and subsequent potential patrons coming to the door, not to mention the painted hours partially scratched off the window, it appears the hours at the main branch of the APL have recently changed. They are now:

Monday-Wednesday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Thursday & Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Closed Sundays in July and August

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Seattle library sets off world’s largest book domino chain

The books were literally falling off the shelves at the Seattle Library during a spectacular stunt.

In an effort to promote its 2013 Summer Reading Program, the library assembled 2,131 books in a winding fashion on its third floor. After a seven-hour setup and four failed tries, the volunteers finally got the books to fall properly.

As you'll see, the chain winds around several "models" who are reading in different environments. At one point, the books even spell out "Read."

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Reading Literature Makes Us Smarter and Nicer

From TIME magazine:

Raymond Mar, a psychologist at York University in Canada, and Keith Oatley, a professor emeritus of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto, reported in studies published in 2006 and 2009 that individuals who often read fiction appear to be better able to understand other people, empathize with them and view the world from their perspective. This link persisted even after the researchers factored in the possibility that more empathetic individuals might choose to read more novels. A 2010 study by Mar found a similar result in young children: the more stories they had read to them, the keener their “theory of mind,” or mental model of other people’s intentions.

"Deep reading" — as opposed to the often superficial reading we do on the Web — is an endangered practice, one we ought to take steps to preserve as we would a historic building or a significant work of art. Its disappearance would imperil the intellectual and emotional development of generations growing up online, as well as the perpetuation of a critical part of our culture: the novels, poems and other kinds of literature that can be appreciated only by readers whose brains, quite literally, have been trained to apprehend them.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Random Hack of Kindness at Albany

On Saturday June 1st, Albany will join the National Day of Civic Hacking with a Random Hack of Kindness Event:

In this event we will join pioneering citizens across the United States blazing new trails for social innovation in an event of unprecedented scope. Nearly one hundred teams across the country, supported by more than 20 government agencies, will come together with a common purpose: to invent new applications that leverage open, public data for the common good. This is the National Day of Civic Hacking.



We will meet at the State University of New York at Albany
Social Science Building, Room SS 134 (NOT Science Library, SLG020)


From 9am to 4pm,
You are welcome to join at any time and stay as long as you want.


Being a Hackathon, this is an open space for you to join, bring your own ideas and meet with like-minded people. Below are some of the activities that we anticipate to perform:

• Mobile Project for Emergency Responders
• Learning Raspberry Pi
• Hacking the Google Chromebook
• Google maps / Open maps
**Attendees will get Amazon server gift certificates for $100!**

More Details at this Google Doc. Under the title ‘Who is Coming’, please add your name so that we can keep track of who will be participating.

For any questions or concerns please contact Luis Ibanez at luis.ibanez@kitware.com

Organized by Luis Ibanez and UAlbany ASIS&T Student Chapter

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Oldest complete Torah found in library

ROME — An Italian expert in Hebrew manuscripts said Wednesday he had discovered the oldest known complete Torah scroll, a sheepskin document dating from 1155-1225. It was right under his nose, in the University of Bologna library, where it had been mistakenly catalogued a century ago as dating from the 17th century.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Quote: the reference interview

“Experienced reference librarians know that the original question put to them by a user is rarely the real question."

William Katz, Introduction to Reference Work, Volume 2 (1992)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Albany Public Library Closed Memorial Day Weekend

All APL locations are closed Saturday, May 25, through Monday, May 27, for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. APL will re-open with regular hours on Tuesday, May 28.

John Davis Elected APL Trustee

John Davis was elected to the APL Board of Trustees in the May 21 vote.

According to the unofficial results, Davis received 1,952 votes and Jose Lopez, the other candidate, received 530 votes.

Davis will be sworn in as library trustee within the next few days. He will serve for two years (the unexpired portion of the late Mimi Mounteer’s term).

The next APL Board of Trustees meeting is Tuesday, June 11, at 5:30 pm at the Howe Branch.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Director of the (New York) State Library, Open-Competitive Examination

28-297, Director of the State Library

For full announcement

Evaluation of Training and Experience To Be Held During
August 2013

Applications Must Be Submitted or Postmarked By June 17, 2013

Minimum Qualifications
On or before August 31, 2013, you must have a master’s degree in Library and Information Studies from an ALA accredited institution; AND eight years post degree professional library experience. Five or more of the eight years must have included management experience involving fiscal, program planning, and policy responsibility in a research, academic, or library system setting with a collection of at least one million items.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Kids.gov: Visit Your Library!

Most of us have fond memories of making trips to the local library when we were kids. Do you remember sitting with a bunch of books trying to decide which you would choose to leave with that day? Do you recall the grownup feeling you got when you handed the librarian your card to check them out? Times have changed and many people read digital books, but there is still something special about a trip to the library. Give your kids the gift of that special memory and visit the library with them:

Ask a Librarian - Library of Congress

Find a Library Near You

Library of Congress for Teachers

Library of Congress' Classroom Materials

Presidential Libraries and Museums

Read.gov for Teachers

World Digital Library

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Position Announcement: Assistant Library Director, Albany Public Library

Assistant Library Director IV

Albany Public Library is seeking a dynamic, self-motivated, experienced professional for the position of Assistant Library Director IV. In this position, the Assistant Library Director reports to the Executive Director and is responsible for supervision of public service departments and library security, and assisting with facilities management, grant writing, and development.

Additional duties include:
recommending policies and procedures, interpreting and negotiating contracts, recommending and implementing new programs and services, representing the library at community meetings and public events, participating in department
budgets, and participating in recruitment and selection of library staff.

Graduation from a registered college or university accredited by the American Library Association or registered by the NYS Education Department to grant degrees with a Master’s Degree* in Library Science, Information Services or equivalent and six (6) years of paid full-time professional library experience in a library of recognized standing, one (1) year of which must have been in an administrative** capacity over a complex operation.
*Minimum qualifications are in accordance with New York State Education Department Division of Library Development.
**Administrative capacity is defined as spending the entire workweek planning, organizing, budgeting/allocating funds, staffing and communicating.


Eligibility and application for a New York State Public Librarian’s Professional Certificate at the time of appointment.
This is a provisional Civil Service position.
A Civil Service examination will be required before permanent appointment in accordance with Civil Service laws and rules.
The salary is competitive with a generous benefit package.
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Application review will begin on June 10, 2013.
To apply send resume, letter of interest, and the names and contact information for three professional references to:
Human Resources Manager
Albany Public Library
161 Washington Ave.
Albany, NY 12210

Albany Public Library is an AA/EO institution and is committed to increasing diversity within its organization.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Clarification of HBR Article Acces Policies in EBSCO

Annette Buckley, Research Librarian for Business at UC Irvine Libraries wrote on the BUSLIB listserv last week:

Over the past few weeks I conducted investigative work on the issues of both the 'popular 500' Harvard Business Review articles, plus general permalinking access to HBR content. How?

I tracked down live administrators at both the Harvard Publishing and EBSCO Motherships, and I just got the final words back from them today! They said some important things, so I wanted to tell you all ASAP (as evidenced by this Friday night email).

Because this required a lot of back-and-forth, I dolled up the communications up in a PDF file to make the process of reading-an-email-thread as painless as possible. I would just attach said file, but listserv don't always like that. Also, I'm shamelessly curious about quantifying the level of interest among my librarian brethren, so here's a url instead where you can download it. Feel free to distribute the url: http://libguides.lib.uci.edu/explain_hbr_ebsco_policies.

Sharing is caring!

Monday, May 06, 2013

Social Media library conference presentations

The Texas Library Association had its Annual Conference last month and the Special Libraries Division hosted a couple of presentations you might be interested in.

Karen Landolt, who is the Director for the University of Texas' HireTexas Interview Center, presented Social Media for Career Advancement.

Laura Young of Austin Ventures did a new version of 50 Apps in 50 Minutes.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Agenda for Friends annual meeting 22 May

The Friends of Albany Public Library, Inc.
Agenda for Wednesday, 22 May 2013, 7:00 pm

Meeting in the Auditorium of the Albany Public Library--Main Library


President: Paul Hacker
Vice President: Bill Dufur
Corresponding Secretary: Judi Baum
Recording Secretary: Jonathan Skinner
Treasurer: Nancy Dover

Election--Nominations for the Board:
For the term ending in 2016:
David L. Colchamiro
Robbie Halley
Janet Jones
Peter G. Sokaris
Willie Mae Spencer

For a term ending in 2014 (to replace L. Tucker):
Lois Parsons

For Honorary Membership:
Eleanor Billmyer
Leonard Tucker (promotion, leaving a vacancy)

George Held Award

Speaker: Valerie Temple, Local Poet

Friday, May 03, 2013

Resources for Your Family During Tough Financial Times

The normal events of the week can be enough of a struggle—getting the kids off to school, paying the bills, making sure you have dinner on the table, and lots of things in between. But when times are tough or you’re facing unexpected expenses, caring for your family’s needs can seem overwhelming. Use these tips from USA.gov’s special Help for Difficult Financial Times section to find resources from the government that can make things a little easier:

• If you’re having trouble with housing expenses, it’s important to be able to spot scams and know how you can avoid foreclosure before it happens. There are also a variety of programs to help you stay in your home or find a temporary place to live.

• We all want healthy and happy families, but emergencies can come out of nowhere. Even if you don’t have insurance, your family can still get medical care, including health care options in your local community.

• It can be hard to leave your little ones at daycare while you go off to work or are job hunting. USA.gov has resources to help make this tough decision easier, helping you decide what type of child care you can afford and what kind of environment is best for your children.

• Your kids can help the family save money too. Use these fun comics from Kids.gov to explain to kids of all ages how some simple chores and tasks can save your family money over time. Educating your kids about saving money while they’re young can help them better understand finances for the rest of their lives.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Quirky Bookstore unveils a Literary Vending Machine

...a bookshop in Toronto by the name of Monkey’s Paw with the world’s first “antiquarian book randomiser”, essentially a literary vending machine that dispenses books like a lucky dip...For a very reasonable price of two Canadian dollars, “The Biblio-mat” will dispense an unusual second-hand book, personally selected for the machine from the stores eclectic collection of titles. Owner of the Monkey’s Paw bookshop, Stephen Fowler has noticed there’s a sentimental element to the Biblio-mat; ”They’ll get a book and feel as though it was physically selected for them."

More HERE.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Top 10 Books Library-Goers Want Banned


A charming picture book, a Pulitzer Prize winner, a memoir, and a beloved children’s series—no genre was safe from complaints from offended readers in 2012. Captain Underpants, Fifty Shades of Grey, and Beloved were among the most “challenged” books last year, according to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.

The top 10 most controversial books, which the ALA released, was determined by the number of “formal, written complaints filed with a library or school requesting that a book or other material be restricted or removed because of its content or appropriateness.” In total, 464 complaints were filed in 2012, up from 326 in 2011.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sparks Fly at ‘Surely You’re Joking, Dr. Wertham’ Event

As the first of several “Comic Book Roundtable” events to be held at the Soho Gallery of Digital Art under the auspices of gallery owner John Ordover and former Marvel editor, author, and educator Danny Fingeroth, this event exploring the life and legacy of Dr. Frederic Wertham was planned for the occasion of Wertham’s 118th birthday, but in the lead up to the event, recent developments in scholarship about the controversial comic reformer shed new light on the evening’s subject matter. In November 2012, librarian, professor, and scholar Carol Tilley published her findings that after examining Wertham’s papers held by the Library of Congress, some of Wertham’s methods and reports were questionable, sparking debate in comics scholarship and among comics fans, particularly after the story was picked up by major media sources in February of 2013.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Friends of the APL programs now on TV!

The time slot for the airing of Friends of Albany Public Library programs will be Wednesdays at 7:00 pm. The programs will be aired on Channel Albany, which is the Public Access channel. In the Albany area, it is channel 18.

Our first program, Brett Hartman's author talk of his book Cadillac Chronicles, will be shown this Wednesday, March 20, 2013.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Is a free association library immune from paying mortgage recording taxes?

New York State Department of Taxation and Finance
Office of Counsel
Advisory Opinion Unit

The Department of Taxation and Finance received a Petition for Advisory Opinion from the [name redacted] (Petitioner). Petitioner asks whether it is subject to mortgage recording taxes imposed by Article 11 of the Law on a construction
loan it procured from name of [bank redacted] (Bank) which is secured by a mortgage. We conclude that the recording of such a mortgage by Petitioner is not exempt from mortgage recording taxes.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sue Fowler a top Capital Region teacher

Delaware Community School second-grade teacher Sue Fowler has been selected as one of the Capital Region's top teachers for the 2012-13 school year by WNYT/TV-13. You can check out the story online HERE.

Monday, March 11, 2013

IMLS Releases Public Libraries in the US Survey FY 2010 Report

The Public Libraries in the United States Survey report published by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) analyzes data supplied annually by over 98% of public libraries across the country. This year’s report features nine performance indicators and examines differences in library service at the locality levels (city, suburb, town, rural and national). Nationally, public libraries have seen reductions in operating revenue, service hours, and staffing. Numbers for circulation, program attendance, and computer use continue to trend upward.

SEE IMLS Press Release

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Madison Avenue Traffic Calming Report, Albany, NY: Feb 2013

The City of Albany commenced a study to evaluate the feasibility of implementing a “Road Diet”along Madison Avenue from Lark Street to South Allen Street and along Western Avenue from South Allen Street to Manning Boulevard. A “Road Diet” is when a road is reduced in the number of travel lanes and/or the effective width. The reallocation of space can result in improved safety for cyclists by providing dedicated space on the roadway; for pedestrians by reducing the potential vehicle conflicts; and for vehicles by providing clear delineation and fewer decision points. The goals of the study are to provide an assessment of the feasibility, benefits, and impacts of a road diet in the corridor by evaluating alternatives that consider bicycles, pedestrians, transit,parking, safety, and passenger vehicle operations. In addition, the alternatives should strive to maintain the existing curb lines, allow sufficient opportunities for turning vehicles, and maintain parking on both sides of Madison Avenue

The report.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Albany public school kids can 'Meet the Author and Illustrator' Saturday

Elementary-school children in the City School District of Albany on Saturday (March 9) will have a chance to talk to the authors and an illustrator of several children’s books at “Meet the Author and Illustrator Day” at Giffen Memorial Elementary School.

The event – free and open to students in all our elementary schools – is designed to get kids excited about reading.

The authors and the times they’ll speak:

Matt McElligott (author of Benjamin Franklinstein, 12 other books) – 9 a.m
Coleen Paratore (author of The Wedding Planner’s Daughter, 16 other books) – 9:35 a.m.
Bruce Hiscock (author of The Big Tree, 11 other books) – 10:30 a.m.
Liz Zunon (illustrator of The Boy who Harnessed the Wind, four other books) – 11:05 a.m.
Daniel Mahoney (author of The Saturday Escape, seven other books) -- noon

Refreshments will be served and the Giffen orchestra and chorus will perform.

Giffen is located at 274 South Pearl St.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

• Library of Congress Releases National Recording Preservation Plan

If you listen to music, the state of recorded sound may strike you as healthy and robust. Whether you hear it in a club, on the radio, on mp3, compact disc or LP, and whether the recording was made last week or decades ago, the sound is solid and the experience can be immersive.

But historians of recorded sound have long been fretting about the relative delicacy of that sound, or more specifically, of the media on which it is stored. And anyone who has listened to transfers made from early cylinders – the dominant format for the first quarter-century of recordings, before the invention of the flat 78 rpm disc – or who has tried to play a digital file in an obsolete format, understands their concerns.

These worries, and their ramifications for the national legacy, became a matter of government concern when Congress passed the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000. That bill directed the Library of Congress to “plan and coordinate a national effort to develop policies and programs to save our nation’s recorded sound history and ensure its accessibility to future generations.”

More HERE.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Free pole dancing classes at library 'great success' with readers

Members of the public were given the chance to learn how to spin around the pole at Mayfield Library in Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland on Saturday.

They queued to watch teacher Nikki Clark before giving the dance moves a whirl.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Why Read? Making the Case for Passionate Reading

Albany City Area Reading Council, Iroquois Reading Council, Schoharie Reading Council and The Children’s Literature Connection invite you to:

Why Read? Making the Case for Passionate Reading
Monday, March 11, 2013 4:00-8:00 p.m.
The Century House 997 New Loudon Road, Latham, NY 12110

Dr. Shelley Stagg Peterson, IRA board member and Professor of Literacy, University of Toronto
Steven Sheinkin, author of The Notorious Benedict Arnold and National Book Award Finalist Bomb
Matthew McElligott, author and illustrator of Even Aliens Need Snacks and more

Guest speakers will address the need for passionate reading in our standardized times and help teachers, librarians, and authors inspire a new generation of readers.

Evite can be found here.

Questions: acarcny@gmail.com or your local membership chair (Janice Toomajian - jtoomajian@ brittonkill.k12.ny.us.) Professional development certificates will be provided as well as door prizes for all. Join us for a great evening of literary conversation.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

E-books for all

A successful Kickstarter campaign>:

The People's E-Book seeks to be a lab, an incubator, an e-book creation platform for artists, authors, and alternative presses who want to try new things, publish new books, and push into new territories. The People's E-Book will handle e-books of all sizes and scope, but it will excel in areas that no one else has cared to consider—the very small, the quick and dirty, the simple and the experimental.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Winter Break Activities at Albany Public Library

There's no room for boredom this week because APL has so many great FREE activities planned for kids and teens during the winter vacation. They've got a number of arts and crafts programs, along with LEGO-building sessions, story times, family movies, and more.

Check out this flier for a complete list of winter break fun at APL.
Here's a small sample of what has been planned for this week:

Roll into Reading Family Roller Skating Party
Sunday (Feb. 24) at 1-3 pm -- Washington Avenue Armory
Join APL for the second annual roller skating party at the Armory (next to the Main Library at the corner of Washington and Lark). We're providing skates, craft activities, and light refreshments. They'll have giveaways -- free book to the first 100 kids through the door -- too. Albany All Stars Roller Derby League will give skating tips and a helping hand. (Skates are provided; participants will not be allowed to use their own roller skates.)

Clay Pictures Arts and Crafts Activity
Tuesday (Feb. 19) at 3 pm -- Main Library
The Scotia-Glenville Traveling Museum helps kids design and create their own 2-D pictures using multi-colored clay. For ages 6-12. Registration required at 427-4310.

"Hotel Transylvania" Family Movie
Wednesday (Feb. 20) at 2 pm -- Pine Hills Branch
In this funny animated feature, Dracula and his pals try to keep a high-end, monsters-and-ghouls-only resort a safe haven from those pesky humans.

Electrifying Science Program
Thursday (Feb. 21) at 3 pm -- Main Library
The Children's Museum of Science and Technology (CMOST) helps kids investigate static, explore magnetics, and more. For ages 6-11. Registration required at 427-4310.

"Where in the World are You?" Music and Dance Program
Friday (Feb. 22) at 2 pm -- Bach Branch
Popular music educator Deb Cavanaugh presents an interactive program of songs and dances from around the world. For elementary-school children.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Copywrongist of All: Fair Use and Intimidation

Sanity is Razor Thin.

It seems we need to go over this copyright thing again. The movie studios seem to think that copyright only applies to them and they get to make the rules (when it favors them). This is wrong. Very wrong. How many of you are familiar with the term "Fair Use"? Fair Use means that we, all of us, have the right to use a copyrighted work without compensating the copyright holder in a specific and limited scope. You can use parts of a movie, a book, a song, a video game, a painting... anything for the purposes of satire, criticism or reporting.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

What's the Best Way to Read a Book?

Unless you are both an incredibly avid reader as well as someone who cares for their gadgets and does not replace or upgrade to new models, e-readers just simply don't live up to the lighter footprint they promise. Instead, we should stick with our library cards.

More HERE.

The Future of Librarians in an EBook World

"There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration." So wrote the steel baron and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who donated a great part of his vast fortune to establish some 3,000 such libraries around the English-speaking world, from his native Scotland to Fiji, and in 47 of the United States. Carnegie believed that libraries should be more than just repositories for books. He envisioned them as community centers as well, and many of them serve that purpose to this day.

But libraries in the 21st century face challenges that Carnegie could not have anticipated, and have struggled to retain their central role to the lives of cities and towns. One of the most profound realities libraries face is the move of readers away from printed books. In 2010, only 6 percent of Americans owned a tablet or e-book reader. By 2012, that percentage had jumped to 33 percent.

Libraries are responding to the decline of print in a variety of creative ways, trying to remain relevant – especially to younger people – by embracing the new technology.

More HERE.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

RIP Danforth Toan, Architect of Brutalist Libraries

Architect Danforth Toan specialized in library design, and often wrapped them in a brutalist shell. One of his major works was Toronto's Robarts Library, with Toronto firm Mathers and Haldenby. Lindsey Roberts writes in Architect Magazine:

At its opening in 1973, the Brutalist-style Robarts Library at the University of Toronto was said to be the largest academic building in the world, with each side of the equilateral-triangle-shaped building measuring 330 feet, and with enough space inside for 4,000 people and 1 million volumes. The library was impressive to more than just Toronto students; novelist Umberto Ecco wrote much of his 1983 novel, "The Name of the Rose," in the library, taking some of its features as inspiration for the secret library described in the book.

More HERE.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Capital Region calendar for Black History Month

Where can you see artwork by Gordon Parks and Faith Ringgold, hear civil rights attorney Lani Guinier, join in discussions on the Maafa of the 21st Century, experience a masquerade ball, see live theater, hear gospel choirs, sample foods from area restaurants, watch student step teams, honor students who won a creative expression contest, learn about the role of spirituals, take part in a business networking event, find out about Black Shakers, attend a pre-screening of a film that honors women who make a difference, watch films made in Africa, share in activities that honor our ancestors, receive spa services at nominal rates, learn why Texas got word of the Emancipation Proclamation so late, hear about some history of Blacks in Schenectady and more? Right here in the Capital Region during the month of February.

See this Capital Region calendar for Black History Month for a listing of events that highlight themes and celebrate the lives of people of African descent during Black History Month.

Jacqui C. Williams, Founding Director

Filling in the Gaps in American History (FIGAH)


Friday, January 25, 2013

First Presbyterian of Albany celebrates 250th birthday

From the Times Union:

As it celebrates its 250th anniversary, First Presbyterian Church is notable for many things beyond its longevity.

Founding Father Alexander Hamilton worshiped there. Large Tiffany stained-glass windows grace the church. Members sometimes meet for services in Washington Park...

First Presbyterian's brownstone Romanesque landmark at State and Willett streets, its fourth location, dates from 1883...

Earlier this month, a refurbished diorama with models of the four churches in a display case was unveiled at a Sunday service as parishioners sang "Happy Birthday" and shared cake. All three previous churches have been torn down.

The anniversary events kick off on Sunday at the Albany Institute of History & Art with a lecture by former assemblyman and historian Jack McEneny. Church officials recently donated to the Institute a 1790 church penny. The church forged 1,000 of the coppers and each member was given four to be used as "communion tokens" in a long-held Scottish tradition. The penny predated the start of the U.S. Mint by two years. A similar penny sold for $115,000 at auction in 2012.

[The diorama will also be on display at the Institute.]

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

AAUP Publishes New Guidelines on Librarians

From Inside Higher Ed:

The American Association of University Professors has updated guidelines for librarians to reflect their changing roles as teachers and researchers. The joint http://www.aaup.org/report/joint-statement-faculty-status-college-and-university-librarians Statement on Faculty Status of College and University Librarians now includes language on technology in the library and recommends that institutions adequately compensate librarians for the 12-month cycles in which they typically work.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Flu vaccine clinic Saturday

The Albany County Department of Health will offer a special flu vaccine clinic this Saturday, Jan. 12, at its office at 175 Green St., next to the Department of Motor Vehicles in Albany.

The clinic will be open from 9 a.m. until noon and is available to all Albany County residents over 6 months of age. You can call 518 447-4589 for an appointment; walk-ins also are welcome.

To make an appointment for a flu vaccine during the week, call 518 447-4589 from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Health Department accepts most insurance plans and will bill Medicare Part B for individuals aged 65 and older. Individuals should bring proof of residence and their insurance card to their appointment. If the insurance plan is not accepted, the cost of the flu vaccination is $25 payable at the time of service. For those without insurance who are unable to pay the full cost, a sliding-fee scale will be used.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

The Sound of Silence in the National Library

From BoingBoing:

The Library of Congress occupies three massive and ornate buildings in the center of Washington, D.C. But those edifices house just part of the collection, which spans hundreds of miles of shelves across many less-interesting buildings, and extends to media beyond books.

To find the heart of the nation's audiovisual memory, I took a lovely drive in October along ever smaller highways heading southwest from Washington, D.C., to Culpeper, Virginia, where sound recordings, films, and video reside in temperature-controlled vaults beneath Mount Pony.

Passing historical sites like Manassas (where Bull Run is located) , and watching the landscape shift rapidly from government buildings and commercial high rises to strip malls to farms and antique stores, it felt as if I traveled through time as well as distance on the 75-mile trip.

But the library's Culpeper facility is firmly rooted in the 21st century, and its existence owes much to the latter half of the 20th. While the focus is on what's buried inside, it's hard to ignore the beauty of the setting, its landscaping, and the building's architecture; it's the best use of concrete that I've ever seen in interior design, and I say that completely unironically.