Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Never trust a corporation to do a library's job

As Google abandons its past, Internet archivists step in to save our collective memory

Google wrote its mission statement in 1999, a year after launch, setting the course for the company’s next decade:

“Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

More from medium.com.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Long trail of library privatization talks in Bakersfield, CA

A lot of ground work went into plans to privatize Kern County's libraries long before the concept came to the public's attention earlier this month, documents obtained by The Californian show.

They reveal that Library Systems & Services LLC Vice President Robert Windrow was talking to Kern County Board of Supervisors Chairman Leticia Perez's office and the County Administrative Office in early June of 2014.

By early January, LSSI was discussing with the CAO's office how to engage with the Service Employees International Union, Local 521, which represents library employees.

And, emails indicate, county officials felt the downturn in Kern County's financial fortunes had created an opportunity to outsource library jobs and realize a "greater return on investment in our Library system."

The documents seem to reflect what some library system supporters have alleged: that a lot of work on the privatization plan has been done behind the scenes, without public input.

More from BakersfieldCalifornian.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Missouri Governor Nixon is Putting Libraries in Peril

Missouri’s public libraries are in trouble. Big trouble. Missouri’s governor, Jay Nixon, is withholding the vast majority of state funding from its public libraries.

Last year, the Missouri House and Senate debated and eventually passed a budget for 2015. The governor then signed this budget. This approved budget allocated $3.5 million to public libraries. It also allocated $3.1 million for Internet and digital services for libraries. Of that $6.6 million, Governor Nixon has only released $724,000 and only to libraries serving communities of less than 40,000 people.

What’s more, the Missouri House and Senate are currently debating the budget for the next fiscal year and Governor Nixon has proposed ONLY $724,000 for libraries next year. For the Kansas City Public Library alone, the cuts remove $100,000 from their annual budget. This will lead to reduced collections and reduced staffing. Smaller libraries will feel this budgetary pinch even worse.

More from BookRiot

Friday, March 27, 2015

Upper Hudson Library System is moving to a new library catalog

The Upper Hudson Library System, the library network that covers Albany and Rensselaer Counties, is moving to a new library catalog called Sierra on Tuesday, March 31.

"You may continue to place item requests up to March 29, but ALL requests will be suspended until the new system is activated on March 31. At that time all requests will be made active in the new catalog.

"March 30: You may still check out library material, but there will be limited catalog functions available.

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Librarians Are Doing PowerPoint Comedy

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

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

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

More from the Wall Street Journal.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

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

From Departing the Text:

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

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

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

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

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Black Activists and National Reconstruction

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

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

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

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

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Albany library bringing 3D printing to the masses

From WNYT:

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

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

Friday, March 13, 2015

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

From the American Library Association:

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

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

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

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

Background material can be found on District Dispatch.


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

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

In 2011, the State University of New York and the Office of the Governor embarked on a groundbreaking partnership to establish the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program to elevate SUNY as a catalyst for regional economic development and affordable education. Under UAlbany's NYSUNY 2020 initiative, faculty and researcher hires across the University-wide strategic initiatives will add $117 million in cumulative research expenditures to an already substantial portfolio. With a significant investment in new researchers and support staff, NYSUNY
2020 will be the cornerstone to one of the largest hubs for innovation and R&D in the nation (http://www.albany.edu/nysuny2020). UAlbany has dynamic new leadership in President Robert Jones and Provost James Stellar, which will lead to many opportunities for the University to become engaged in new programming, research and collaborative initiatives.

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, March 12, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

Road Closures:

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Librarians & Libraries in Comic Books

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

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

More from INALJ

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Sun Never Rises: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

The Beinecke Library is home to 500,000 volumes of rare books and "several million" manuscripts making it one of (if not the largest) repositories dedicated to the collection and preservation of rare writings. Among the documents housed therein are an original Gutenberg Bible and, as discussed in these pages earlier, the Voynich manuscript.

Hopefully, the documents will be around for a while, but that's not a given. One of the biggest problems with caring for old books is that the paper (or other materials) they're written on will, over time, disintegrate. The library's job? Slow down that process as much as possible. The solutions: gas, freezers, and stone.

More from Now I Know.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Why Libraries Should Be the Next Great Start-Up Incubators

This old idea of the public library as co-working space now offers a modern answer – one among many – for how these aging institutions could become more relevant two millennia after the original Alexandria library burned to the ground. Would-be entrepreneurs everywhere are looking for business know-how and physical space to incubate their start-ups. Libraries meanwhile may be associated today with an outmoded product in paper books. But they also happen to have just about everything a 21st century innovator could need: Internet access, work space, reference materials, professional guidance.

Why not put these two ideas together?

More from Citylab.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Building Equity: Race, Ethnicity, Class and Protected Bike Lanes, a 36-page "idea book for fairer cities"

From People for Bikes:

Diversity created the city. But diversity has never been easy.

Almost as soon as PeopleForBikes selected its first six Green Lane Project focus cities, we started hearing from their staffers that they wanted to better understand how the values of diversity and equity – of race, of ethnicity, of class – could improve their work to make bicycling mainstream.

[We] on the Green Lane Project team share those values. But we're not diversity or equity experts; we're infrastructure experts.

So, to help city staffers and advocates across the country think about these issues, we've teamed up with the Alliance for Biking and Walking and spent the last eight months talking to people who live and breathe this work: people like Nedra Deadwyler, an Atlanta business owner working to make her street's stoops and sidewalks places for social gathering, or Jocelyn Dicent, a teen activist working to reconnect New York City's Rockaway Peninsula so she and her friends can get to school safely.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

25 maps that explain the English language

From Vox.com:

English is the language of Shakespeare and the language of Chaucer. It's spoken in dozens of countries around the world, from the United States to a tiny island named Tristan da Cunha. It reflects the influences of centuries of international exchange, including conquest and colonization, from the Vikings through the 21st century. Here are 25 maps and charts that explain how English got started and evolved into the differently accented languages spoken today.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Volunteer Income Tax Program (VITA)

From HERE:

VITA is a free, IRS-sponsored program to help low and middle-income workers have their federal and State personal income taxes prepared and filed electronically at no cost. VITA also ensures that workers receive all the tax credits to which they are entitled.

Many workers eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or Child Tax Credit (CTC) don’t feel comfortable filling out tax forms themselves. However, commercial tax preparers charge significant fees to prepare a return and offer services that can otherwise be provided at no cost at a VITA site. People eligible for EITC and CTC have a no-cost option — they can have their returns prepared and filed at a VITA site.

Every county in the New York State, and most counties in the United States, have at least one VITA site. Visit the IRS VITA site locator. Opening and closing dates vary by site as well as hours and days of operation. In addition, many sites do require an appointment.

After April 15, 2015, many of the VITA site locations close and will no longer be listed on the IRS VITA site locator. Please call the sites directly to confirm that they will remain open after April 15th.