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PW’s “Afro Picks” Controversy

PW’s provocative cover image and title for its annual African American feature stirred up plenty of controversy on Twitter and blogs yesterday – and now the book blogs at the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune are asking their readers to weigh in.

African American novelists Carleen Brice and Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant were among the first to criticize the cover for presenting the work of black authors in the context of a negative stereotype. PW editor Calvin Reid explained that he’d chosen the cover image from the book Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present, edited by Deborah Willis. “While it never occurred to me that anyone would be offended by these images, I was very wrong and I have to acknowledge that,” he wrote.

Full piece at EarlyWord.com

Delaware to add new libraries to statewide catalog

In a recent blog post, the Delaware Library Catalog announced the addition of two significant libraries to the growing statewide catalog. The Wilmington Public Library will migrate from its current Horizon ILS to the Delaware Division of Libraries- managed and SirsiDynix-hosted Symphony system. Wilmington Library patrons will enjoy the enhanced services offered by the statewide system, and existing patrons will be able to easily access the more than 200,000 items held by the Wilmington Library, which has served the citizens of Delaware's largest city at its current downtown site since 1922. In addition, the Wilmington University will upgrade from its current Unicorn system and migrate its holdings to the statewide system, providing the potential to coordinate academic holdings with DLC's existing academic partners the Delaware Technical and Community College and Wesley College

Bill Gates fund: libraries need more cash for broadband

Over at Ars Technica is this story on the E-rate and the issues facing libraries in providing access.

"The foundation tied to the Microsoft fortune has told the Federal Communications Commission that the government should spend more money on high-speed Internet upgrades for public libraries and schools. The FCC should make it easier to apply, too.

"A growing number of schools and public libraries cannot afford connectivity upgrades because of the inability to pay for one-time only installation, equipment and transport costs," the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation warned the Commission on Wednesday. No big surprise that Gates is active in this area. Microsoft's general focus when it comes to broadband stimulus questions is that resources should go to "anchor institutions"—libraries, schools, and hospitals."

News Corporation, Google, and reading the news @ your library

Whatever the outcome of the current struggle between Google and News Corporation, public libraries hope to continue to be a source for high-quality news content, through subscription resources and other offerings.

More thoughts here from the Delaware division of libraries blog: http://library.blogs.delaware.gov/2009/12/07/daily-news-content-going-offline/

What's New Over On LISWire - The Librarian's News Wire

Over at LISWire ( http://liswire.com/ ) - The Librarian's News Wire we have now posted over 200 releases. You can subscribe to one of our mailing lists Right Here. You can grab the main LISWire RSS Feed Here. There are a bunch of other feeds you can subscribe to listed Right Here. You can also follow along on Twitter Right Here. -- Read More

Subcultural News Portal gets play at Staid InfoToday.

Info Today's "Newsbreaks" has published a piece on Web 2.0 updates by The Disinformation Company. Disinfo.com has been a subcultural/countercultural newsportal since before the fall of Loompanics Unlimited; now they've geared up to use 2.0 tools on their main site to bolster book and film sales, and to support their podcasting interests. The early disinfo.com pages anticipated folksonomic tagging, and served as a virtual meeting place for the folks like Terence McKenna, Grant Morrison, Robert Anton Wilson, and Douglas Rushkoff.

Click by Click, Libraries and Readers Wade Into Digital Lending

From the NY Times:

"Eager to attract digitally savvy patrons and capitalize on the growing popularity of electronic readers, public libraries across the country are expanding collections of books that reside on servers rather than shelves.

The idea is to capture borrowers who might not otherwise use the library, as well as to give existing customers the opportunity to try new formats."

Oss-ILS Research Project: Call for Participants

As part of an IMLS funded Early Career Research Grant, Dr. Vandana Singh (Assistant Professor, School of Information Sciences at University of Tennessee-Knoxville) is working on a 3 year research project that will compare the technical support for Open Source Integrated Library Systems with proprietary Integrated Library Systems.

In phase 1 of this research project, we are collecting data regarding the expectations of librarians for technical support and the available channels of technical support. We will identify the expectations of librarians about technical support for ILS (both open source software and proprietary software. And, we will assess the effectiveness of the current channels and processes for technical support in satisfying the expectations of the librarians.

At this stage, we are looking for participants interested in contributing to this study. If you would be willing to participate in the study or can make some recommendations for potential participants that would be greatly appreciated. At this time, the only information we are soliciting is:

Are you currently using an ILS?
Are you using an open source or proprietary ILS?
What type of library are you working in? (School, Public, Academic, Special, etc.)
Is your library in rural area or urban?
Would you be willing to participate in this study? (Participation entails responding to survey questions administered electronically and/or participating in interviews).
If you are interested in the general description and progress of the project, you can find more information at -- Read More

Newspapers Go To Washington

Washington is paying attention to the newspaper crisis. The president has even weighed in. But some worry that any government help would create a conflict of interest. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), sponsor of The Newspaper Revitalization Act, and Jim Moroney, publisher of The Dallas Morning News discuss what role, if any, the government should play in saving newspapers.

Beyond NPR, our in-house podcast team discussed the issue in the second half of the episode A LISTen Special: Kiwi Surprise With A Side Of Buckeye Candy.

News Flash: Reprieve for Philly Libraries

Late Thursday afternoon, the Pennsylvania State senate passed bill 1828 by a vote of 32 to 17. For all of you who have been following the saga over the city's budget crisis, this is indeed the legislation that was needed for the City of Philadelphia to avoid the "Doomsday" Plan C budget scenario, which would have resulted in the layoff of 3,000 city employees and forced the closing of all libraries.

More from the Free Library's website.

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