Library News

Jobs in Information Technology: April 23

LITA Blog - Wed, 2014-04-23 13:25

New vacancy listings are posted weekly on Wednesday at approximately 12 noon Central Time. They appear under New This Week and under the appropriate regional listing. Postings remain on the LITA Job Site for a minimum of four weeks.

New This Week

Digital Scholarship Librarian, Middle TN State University – Walker Library,  Murfreesboro, TN

Reference Librarian, Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, CA

Visit the LITA Job Site for more available jobs and for information on submitting a  job posting.

Categories: Library News

Preserving by the pint : quick seasonal canning for small spaces /

New At the Library - Wed, 2014-04-23 09:04

    ISBN: 9780762449682
    Author: McClellan, Marisa

Categories: Library News

The collector /

New At the Library - Wed, 2014-04-23 09:04

    ISBN: 9780399164453
    Author: Roberts, Nora

Categories: Library News

Chestnut Street /

New At the Library - Wed, 2014-04-23 09:04

    ISBN: 9780385351867
    Author: Binchy, Maeve

Categories: Library News

An Oral History of African American Youth

The Griots of Oakland has been out in bookstores for almost six months now, but as far as I can tell, today’s review will represent its first appearance in a library review journal. Which is a coup for us, but a shame for the other journals, and also strangely fitting the subject matter: the invisibility of young African American men in American culture (unless they’ve committed a crime).

The book chronicles a project which should be the envy of libraries everywhere: an oral history/videography project conducted by members of the very culture the authors were looking to learn about.  The results are in this gorgeous and thought-provoking book. Here’s hoping it gets some more attention in the next six months.

ZUSMAN, Angela Beth. The Griots of Oakland: Voices from the African American Oral History Project. 183p. Story Bridges. Oct. 2013. Tr $59.99. ISBN 9780988763111; pap. $14.99. ISBN 978-0988763104.

Over the course of two years, several young African American men in Oakland, California, were trained in the arts of active listening, oral history, and videography. They conducted research, crafted questions, and conducted more than 100 oral-history interviews with African American boys ages 6-24. The result is a gorgeous book, specific to a time and place yet universal in interest and information. With striking, full-color photographs  and graphics, this is a book that young people will pour over, whether they are from Oakland or not. But more important than the book’s physical beauty is its challenge to  readers’ views of African American men. There are some surprising statistics, like the fact that 100% of the youth said that they planned to attend college. Other statistics are difficult, yet essential, to hear: 83% of those over 13 years old describe their life as “hard,”with only 17% saying “good.” But for those under 13 years, the statistic is almost completely flipped: 79% described their life as “good” and 21% as “hard.” As Zusman writes in the introduction, “On a deeper level [this book] is about perception itself. The media is saturated with imagery of African American men, but we wanted to learn what is true for these young men, to uncover and create a showcase for their wisdom, sincerity, hope, joy, and diversity. Sure enough, these young men blew us away. They spoke with generosity and fearlessness. They were polite, articulate, and curious. While aware of the stereotypes and perceptions of themselves, they were able to transcend them.”–Amy Cheney, Alameda County Library, Juvenile Hall, CA

Categories: Library News

Novels about the One Percent

Today we have two very different novels that feature the lives of the uber-wealthy.

I love Jamie Watson’s reference to Brideshead Revisited in her starred review of The Last Enchantments. I was completely obsessed with that novel when we read it in senior year English, and I think the fact that I never fully understood the relationships, the mystery of them, was half the appeal. (That and the BBC miniseries!) The Last Enchantments shares that mysterious feel, but is set in the new millenium. The contemporary Oxford University experience will pull in young readers.

Charles Finch has a Last Enchantments tumblr page that is pretty much just a series of gorgeous photographs of Oxford. Nothing wrong with that!

Savage Girl is a thriller set in high society Manhattan during the Gilded Age. It has been compared to Caleb Carr’s The Alienist, Edith Wharton and Edgar Allan Poe–quite a heady mixture. Of course, part of the key for teen readers is the way it all begins. PW’s starred review kicks off, “The prologue of Zimmerman’s superior historical thriller will suck most readers in instantly.”

As for authenticity, Zimmerman knows her New York City history. She’s also the author of Love, Fiercely: A Gilded Age Romance, nonfiction that features the same period.

* FINCH, Charles. The Last Enchantments. 336p. St. Martin’s. Feb. 2014. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781250018717; ebk. ISBN 9781250018700.  

This novel brings to mind Brideshead Revisited or The Great Gatsby with its tale of contemporary “One percenters” in graduate school at Oxford. The narrator Will, an American in the throes of a quarterlife crisis, never feels false but can be maddening. He never wants what he has, whether it’s his longtime girlfriend whom he left behind in New York, the townie girl with whom he has a few flings, or any of the possibilities open to him at the end of college. But he also doesn’t have what he wants, namely, the even more maddening Sophie, who is in the midst of her own dysfunctional relationship. Secondary characters sparkle with intelligence and wit, and sometimes shock with their elitism and casual racism. Despite some digressions into heavy intellectual discourse, studying at Oxford is made to seem not all that different from any college—everyone gets drunk, hooks up and isn’t particularly ready for “real life” to start. Will’s melancholy realization, “I think of it sometimes, and feel sad to contemplate how it will be, this place I love so much, finished with me before I finish with it” refers literally to a character’s death, but figuratively to anything coming to an end, a thought that is likely to resonate with teens, especially intellectual, emotional ones, coming into their own sense of an ending as they go on to their next life stages.–Jamie Watson, Baltimore County Public Library, MD

ZIMMERMAN, Jean. Savage Girl. 416p. Viking. Mar. 2014. Tr $27.95. ISBN 9780670014859; ebk. ISBN 9781101616321.  

The wealthy Delegates reside solidly in the upper tier of 1875 New York City society. The family is headed by Freddy, who collects people like others collect butterflies, and his wife, Anna Maria, who dotes on her two sons, Hugo, a Harvard student, and teenaged Nicky. Their extended family includes two of Freddy’s “acquisitions”: Anna Maria’s maid, Song Tu-Li, a Chinese immigrant, and Tahktoo, a Zuni two-spirit person, physically male but considered a third gender, blending masculine and feminine natures. Freddy finds a prize in a traveling sideshow— the Savage Girl, a wild, dangerous young woman supposedly raised by wolves. He is an avid proponent of nurture over nature and believes he can transform her into a proper lady fit to be accepted into their upper-class world. Fawned over by Anna Maria, Tu-Li, and Tahktoo, she eventually becomes presentable, but something in her wild nature remains. The Savage Girl never gives up her independence and agency despite others’ belief that they control her. Hugo is alternately obsessed and frightened by her, but eventually succumbs to love, a decision that may cost him his life. The rigid societal rules of this era, especially as related to women’s behavior, provide an interesting backdrop to this story of mystery, murder, and revenge. Historical fiction fans will appreciate the immersion into the Delegates’ high-society world, and mystery fans will be intrigued by the trail of blood and mutilation that seem to follow in the Savage Girl’s wake.—Carla Riemer, Claremont Middle School, CA

Categories: Library News

23 Mobile Things in French

Tame the Web - Sun, 2014-04-20 10:52

It’s so cool to see how 23 Mobile Things taken off. Here’s a shout out to the good folks in France who’ve adapted the program!

Take look at all the versions here:

Categories: Library News

Your Curriculum is Not About 3D Printers or Zombies By TTW Contributor Troy Swanson

Tame the Web - Thu, 2014-04-17 11:31

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the Texas Library Association Conference in San Antonio. While there, I had the opportunity to talk with Justin Hoenke (among many folks) who is also a contributor to this blog. We discussed his work at the Chattanooga Public Library and, specifically about the use of their 3D printer. Listening to him talk, it really struck me that at the basic level Justin does not really care about the 3D printer. The 3D printer is all well and good, but the thing that he is really after is the learning, the creativity, that the printer enables. Justin told me, “if libraries want to get into the maker movement, they don’t really need a 3D printer. They really just need a roll of duct tape and some raw materials to use in building” (this quote was given to me over drinks so please take it as more representative of his larger points as opposed to an exact quote). It was clear to me that Justin was not really a technologist, even if he uses technology to do his work. He gets excited about the things that people can do with the technology (even if the technology is a roll of duct tape).

This year my library received two awards for our campus-wide zombie game . We received the Proquest Innovation in Libraries Award from ACRL  and the Innovation of the Year Award from our own campus. I mention these awards partly because of a character flaw where I like to show off. But I also bring these up because our library’s zombie game is comparable to Justin’s 3D printer. We didn’t organize our game because we wanted to play a game. We did it because we wanted to organize a learning event that enriched the curriculum in a unique way that no other campus department could. We could pull together IT support and student activities while still making the event curricular giving faculty a tool to use to create assignments. Faculty members from across the curriculum created assignments so that their students could participate. This included microbiology, nursing, statistics, massage therapy, criminal justice, writing, speech, and others.

It wasn’t too long ago when it was trendy for administrators within higher education to merge the library with IT departments. Obviously, every institution has their own reasons and goals when they reorganize, but this move always concerned me a little bit. I always have felt that moving libraries outside of the academic division sort of missed what libraries are all about. Moving libraries to IT emphasizes their role as learning infrastructure and DE-emphasizes their role in learning. And I have always thought that the whole point was learning. Perhaps, David Lankes makes the best point in The Atlas of New Librarianship. He notes that librarians can no longer think simply about service communities, but that librarians must focus on the learning needs of those service communities. It’s about curriculum.

So, what’s your curriculum? Your curriculum is simply the learning needs of community. Your curriculum ties together resources, events, space, classes, technology, and other services aimed at learning. Your curriculum recasts the purpose of your library away from stuff, away from content. Your curriculum doesn’t just bring you face-to-face with your community. Your curriculum brings you face-to-face with your learners. And, most importantly, your curriculum is not about 3D printers or zombie games.

Troy A. Swanson is Department Chair and Teaching & Learning Librarian at Moraine Valley Community College. He is the author of the book,Managing Social Media in Libraries. You can follow him on Twitter at @t_swanson.

Categories: Library News

Taking Useful Notes at a Conference

David Lee King - Thu, 2014-04-17 09:00

I just came back from Computers in Libraries 2014 … with three pages of notes. I heard some useful stuff this year!

I also changed how I’m taking notes, in hopes of making them more useful. In the past, I have been known to furiously type everything I hear, plus some ideas I get during the presentation, and post those notes as a blog post.

This year, I just wrote down the stuff I found interesting, and any ideas I got while listening (well, I actually typed them in the IA Writer iPad app, but you get the idea).

Many of us do this. We take notes while at a conference or during a meeting, and then when we get back home … we don’t really do anything with those notes. Myself included.

So this year, after the conference, I arranged my notes in a more “useful” way by placing all those thoughts and ideas into loose categories, like this:

David’s Categories for Post-Conference Bliss:

  • Blog this
  • Read this
  • Think more about this
  • Do this
  • Share with someone

Get the idea? Each category is really an action, which get turned into action items on my to-do list when I get back home. For example:

  • Blog this – This blog post is an example of that. It’s an idea I had when looking at my notes. Done
  • Read this – Someone mentioned a white paper by Brian Matthews, Think like a Startup. So I downloaded it and read it. Good stuff! Done
  • Think more about this – During one of Nate Hill‘s talks, he mentioned inviting a local Linux user’s group to meet at the library and help redefine the space. I need to think more about what groups are out there in Topeka, and about being more pro-active with inviting them to do work at the library.
  • Do this – I heard Michael Casey, Christopher Baker, and David Smith talk about their Google Apps project (had dinner with them, too – fun time!). My “do this” bullet point says to set up a meeting to discuss our Exchange server options (we’re due for an upgrade this year).
  • Share this with someone – I have a “talk to my boss” item about the concept of a “startup mentality” for organizations and projects, to see if it’s 1. a good idea, 2. where our bottlenecks are, and 3. if there’s something we can do about it.

A local non-profit board that I’m on recently rearranged their meeting minutes this way, and it really works for us (I can thank my wife for having that great idea, too). For the board meeting, our categories include: Information, Decisions, Open issues, and Action Items. That simple tweak has helped us be more organized. Hopefully it will work better for me personally, too!

So – what do YOU do with all those notes, thoughts, ideas, etc when you get back from the conference? Any good ideas? Please share!

image by Dvortygirl

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Categories: Library News

The Auschwitz escape : a novel /

New At the Library - Thu, 2014-04-17 06:07

    ISBN: 9781611062663
    Author: Rosenberg, Joel C., 1967-

Categories: Library News

The storied life of A.J. Fikry :

New At the Library - Thu, 2014-04-17 06:07

    ISBN: 9781616203214
    Author: Zevin, Gabrielle

Categories: Library News

Night diver /

New At the Library - Thu, 2014-04-17 06:07

    ISBN: 9780062132826
    Author: Lowell, Elizabeth, 1944-

Categories: Library News

The Problem with Stories about Amnesia (Solved by Robert Glancy and Jason Bourne)

Anyone who cares about narrative, movies, or both should be reading Matt Bird’s Cockeyed Caravan blog. He spends most of his time there deconstructing the narrative structure of Hollywood movies and explaining how and why movies do (and don’t) work. But while he only discusses movies (and usually big-budget Hollywood ones at that), his insights are invaluable for anyone interested in the way narrative works in any kind of fiction. I’ve cited his ideas many times over on my personal blog and in conversations with other book lovers.

For the last week or so, he’s been looking at The Bourne Identity, which, aside from the spying and car chases, has a very similar underlying structure to Robert Glancy’s Terms & Conditions, reviewed below. As I say in my review, it’s a very well-worn amnesia plot, which Matt describes much better than I did in my review:

There are lots of movies in which the hero has some form of amnesia or memory-tampering, only to discover that, in the life he can’t remember, he was actually, gasp, one of the bad guys…But don’t worry, there’s still time to do the right thing!

The problem with this plot, Matt says, is that it doesn’t make much sense. Why would someone change into a “good guy” just because he gets amnesia?

The idea that, if we could start again with a clean slate, we’d all naturally choose to be nobly heroic action figures, even it means rejecting everyone from our past life (indeed, entering into a “kill or be killed” relationship with them) seems utterly vainglorious.

The Bourne Identity solves this dilemma by reversing the order of events: rather than Bourne’s amnesia causing him to become a “good guy”, it is a mental crisis over the fact that he’s a bad guy which causes his amnesia. Interestingly, Glancy’s novel uses the exact same technique.

Of course, since the revelation of this solution to the “amnesia problem” occurs at the end of both works, we need something to keep us occupied in the meantime. Bourne offers us thrills, and Glancy offers us laughs. His idea of using a lawyer who writes terms and conditions as his protagonist is nothing short of brilliant, as it leads to endless variations on the theme of terms and conditions, and endless footnotes to clarify (or sometimes muddy) the narrator’s thoughts. I wouldn’t say this is the most teen-friendly title we’ve reviewed here–the narrator is a bit older, and spends a lot of time thinking about his job and his marriage. But the humor alone, along with the search for identity should be more than enough to appeal to literate teens.

GLANCY, Robert. Terms & Conditions. 272p. Bloomsbury USA. Apr. 2014. Tr $26. ISBN 9781620406434; ebk. ISBN 9781620406441.

Glancy takes a relatively standard-issue amnesia story–a man loses his memory; he begins to regain memory; he realizes he doesn’t like the person he was before he lost his memory; and he takes the opportunity of his amnesia to become a better person, usually through a relationship with a woman. Glancy brings his story crackling to life with his quirky sense of humor and an ingeniously designed metaphor embodied in the novel’s title. The amnesiac is Frank, a contract lawyer who specialized in making contracts unbreakable (or breakable, depending on the client) through fine print—-those “terms and conditions” that no one reads. Much of Glancy’s humor resides in his own version of terms and conditions–hilarious footnotes, many of which go on for well over a page and often directly contradict the main text. Meanwhile, Frank’s slow path back to memory revolves around the mystery of what caused the “little episode” he had just before his car accident. The solution to that mystery brings to the fore the novel’s central theme: what is it that makes a man—his actions or his intentions? Frank’s answer to that question and his path to full personhood should resonate well with teens on their path to adulthood.–Mark Flowers, John F. Kennedy Library, Vallejo, CA

Categories: Library News

Jobs in Information Technology: April 16

LITA Blog - Wed, 2014-04-16 13:11

New vacancy listings are posted weekly on Wednesday at approximately 12 noon Central Time. They appear under New This Week and under the appropriate regional listing. Postings remain on the LITA Job Site for a minimum of four weeks.

New This Week

Senior Network Administrator,  Douglas County Libraries, Castle Rock, CO

Visit the LITA Job Site for more available jobs and for information on submitting a  job posting.

Categories: Library News

Evening stars /

New At the Library - Wed, 2014-04-16 05:57

    ISBN: 9780778317210
    Author: Mallery, Susan

Categories: Library News

Irish eyes [sound recording] : a novel /

New At the Library - Wed, 2014-04-16 05:57

    ISBN: 9781482992137
    Author: Andrews, Mary Kay, 1954-

Categories: Library News

Four friends /

New At the Library - Wed, 2014-04-16 05:57

    ISBN: 9780778316817
    Author: Carr, Robyn

Categories: Library News

The wedding bees : a novel of honey love and manners /

New At the Library - Wed, 2014-04-16 05:57

    ISBN: 9780062252609
    Author: Lynch, Sarah-Kate

Categories: Library News

News: Outside the Lines

Tame the Web - Tue, 2014-04-15 11:46

outside the lines launches september 2014

Weeklong Celebration Gets Communities Thinking of Libraries 

in a Whole New Way

DENVER–April 14, 2014–Inspired by the urgent need to shift perceptions of libraries, a group of Colorado library marketers and directors have developed a bold, new campaign that reintroduces libraries to their communities and gets people thinking – and talking – about these organizations in a whole new way. Outside the Lines is a weeklong celebration, Sept. 14-20, 2014, demonstrating the creativity and innovation happening in libraries.

Organizations of all types can participate by hosting at least one event or campaign during the week of Sept. 14-20, 2014, that:

  • Gets people thinking – and talking – about libraries in a different way
  • Showcases the library out in the community as well as in the library
  • Highlights how the library is relevant to people’s lives
  • Represents the organization’s local community
  • Is active versus passive – gets people engaged
  • Is extraordinary and unexpected
  • Most importantly, is fun!

Libraries can sign up to participate at They can also see a list of participating libraries and view videos that provide creative inspiration. To date, 40 libraries from across the U.S. and Canada have signed up to participate and will announce their Outside the Lines activities in the coming months.

The purpose of Outside the Lines is to reintroduce libraries to local communities by helping people understand how libraries have changed into dynamic centers for engagement, helping libraries better understand how to market themselves and share their stories, and providing a venue for libraries to work together to demonstrate their creativity and innovation.


Outside the Lines is an R-Squared initiative designed by Colorado library marketers and directors that gets libraries “walking the walk” – taking action to show our communities how important libraries are and how they’ve changed.

This celebration takes many of the concepts discussed at RSquared, The Risk & Reward Conference, such as creativity, customer curiosity, culture, community and creative spaces, and puts them into action where they count – in our local communities. Learn more at





Amber DeBerry, 303-688-7641


Stacie Ledden, 303-405-3286



Categories: Library News

My Slides from Computers in Libraries 2014

David Lee King - Tue, 2014-04-15 09:00

Here’s what I talked about while at Computers in Libraries last week (really useful conference for me this year, by the way. Lots of great ideas!).

3-hour pre-conference session on Technology Trends for 2014:

Technology Trends in Libraries for 2014 from David King

Website Redesign:

Redesigning – a library website from David King

Digital Hangouts (basics of using social media for organizations):

Digital Hangouts: Reaching Outside the Building from David King


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