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 “” 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? 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 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.