Librarians

Egyptian librarians found first union

Egyptian librarians found first union
Over 200,000 librarians, archivists and information specialists in Egypt today can organise themselves via an official union. In the presence of Minister of Culture Shaker Abdel-Hamid and head of the National Library and Archives Zein Abdel-Hadi, who is also a librarian by profession, the founding conference of the new union was held at the National Library premises with representatives from the governorates of Monufiya, Daqahlia, Qena, Kafr El-Sheikh and others.

Former librarian is new owner of Book Stop

Former librarian is new owner of Annie's Book Stop
Simone Henderson loves to read, so a 14-year career in library science was a natural choice for her. After brief break from books, she's back in the bound business, having assumed proprietorship of Annie's Book Stop on far north Union Avenue on the first day of this year.

Henderson's career as a librarian included time spent working at Bates College, in the University of Maine system and, for the final three years, in the New Hampshire State Library. She left that career to take part in a family business. That move didn't work out as planned, and in August of last year she found herself looking for something to do.

Go High-Tech on a Tight Budget: A Reading List from Maurice Coleman and Robin Hastings

Go High-Tech on a Tight Budget: A Reading List from Maurice Coleman and Robin Hastings
Do you want to upgrade the technology in your library, but you don't have any money to do so? It's a pretty common problem, and in their new workshop, Maurice Coleman and Robin Hastings will show you how to take your tech to the next level without breaking the bank, or in some cases reduce your spending.

Whether you planning to attend or not, check out this reading list they created. Some items are available for free on the web, some require payement or subscriptions. No matter what type of library you're at, you should be able to find something helpful in this list!

Nancy Pearl's Publishing Deal With Amazon

Nancy Pearl and Amazon.com have struck a deal to republish some lesser recognized titles that are favorites of the Book Lust author and librarian hero.

However, not everyone is thrilled with the idea. As reported in The Seattle Times:

...Overnight, this 67-year-old Seattle grandmother has become a greedy betrayer of the small, sometimes-struggling, bookshops that so supported her. "Yes," says J.B. Dickey, owner of the Seattle Mystery Bookshop about such an assessment. "By aligning herself with Amazon, she's turning her back on independents. Amazon is absolutely antithetical to independent bookselling, and, to many of us, truth, justice and the American way."

If things sound like they've gotten a little heated over Pearl's latest project, they have.

On Wednesday, Amazon.com announced it was issuing "Nancy Pearl's Book Lust Rediscoveries series, a line of Pearl's favorite, presently out-of-print books to share with readers hungry for her expert recommendations."

About six books a year would be published in versions that include print books and eBooks, says the Seattle-headquartered merchandising Goliath that in 2010 had sales of $34 billion, or about $1,077 per second.

State police investigate ex-library employee

State police investigate ex-library employee
Police are investigating possible wrongdoing by a former state library official who abruptly resigned in December after he was chosen to become the next Oregon state librarian.

Amid official silence about what triggered the criminal investigation, emails obtained by the Statesman Journal through Oregon's public records law reveal that Robert Hulshof-Schmidt was placed on administrative leave in November after questions surfaced about his academic credentials.

On Facebook, Librarian Brings Two Students from the Early 1900s To Life

Facebook user “joe1915” writes wall posts that would be familiar to any college student these days: He stresses about tests, roots for his university’s football team, and shows off photos from campus dances.

But Joe McDonald isn’t an average smartphone-toting student. He died in 1971 — 33 years before Facebook arrived on the Web.

Donnelyn Curtis, the director of research collections and services at the University of Nevada at Reno, created Facebook profiles for Mr. McDonald and his wife, Leola Lewis, to give students a glimpse of university life during the couple’s college days. Ms. Lewis graduated in 1913, and Mr. McDonald earned his degree in mechanical engineering two years later.

With approval from Mr. McDonald’s granddaughter, Peggy McDonald, Ms. Curtis said she’s using archival material for a history project designed to appeal to a wider audience than the typical patrons of special collections.

“We’re just trying to help history come alive a little bit for students,” she said. At first, only extended family members bothered to “friend” with the pair’s profiles, but as the audience grew, Ms. Curtis said she had to find a humorous voice that would appeal to contemporary students who use Facebook every day.

From The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Pelham NH to Hold Library Director's Job While He's Incarcerated

Strange but true...librarian convicted for major theft in one state, Massachusetts, will return to his more recent position in another, New Hampshire after his sentence has been served.

Robert Rice Jr., 46, was sentenced yesterday to six months behind bars for stealing more than $200,000 when he was the director of Revere Public Library.

Rice was sentenced in Superior Court in Boston on 18 felony charges for taking money from 2005 to 2009, according to the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office.

Rice pleaded guilty to fraud and embezzlement charges as part of a plea bargain. He bought numerous items under the pretense they were for the Revere library, but then kept or sold them.

Shortly after resigning in 2009 while under fire in Revere, Rice took the position in Pelham.

Francis Garboski, chairman of the Pelham Library trustees, said yesterday Rice's job is still safe.

"His position will be held until he gets back," Garboski said. "The decision is up to him when he wants to come back."

In praise of public libraries - and librarians

In praise of public libraries – and librarians

I’d say the answer to this is that public libraries are important because of a word that’s been largely ignored or forgotten and that word is Public. Public libraries are about more than mere facts, information or ‘content’. Public libraries are places where local people and ideas come together. They are spaces, local gathering places, where people exchange knowledge, wisdom, insight and, most importantly of all, human dignity.

Beyond the Bullet Points: Expect More

Beyond the Bullet Points: Expect More
For far too long we have treated the innovators and leaders in our field as exceptional. While they are brilliant and brave, we can no longer treat them as the exceptions. We must see their work as the standard. Librarians who have raised their budgets in these economic times should not be treated as fortunate, or beyond the norm; we must see their example as the new normal. We must stop seeing those who create new technologies, or who raise the usage of our services as superhuman, and see them as the benchmark. No longer can we allow the mediocre of our field train the expectations of our communities. No longer can we simply talk about the future of our field among ourselves, sheltered from the withering criticism of the uninformed.

Gift Cards for Library Employees a No-No

Good intentions. Bad idea. Those words summarize the recent attempt by Live Oak (GA) Public Libraries Director Christian Kruse to spend nearly $23,000 in library funds on gift cards for 166 employees.

The cards were valued at $50, $100 and $200 and were meant to recognize part-time and full-time employees after about three years of stagnant salaries and increased health care costs, Kruse said.

He said the cards were meant to be a small token for the work the staff does and were paid for with surplus revenue from a special fund from book sales, fines and fee revenue. Finance Director Neal Vickers later said revenue from copying and printing fees was used.

One problem is the gift cards may have violated restrictions on the use of public funds, according to state officials.

The gratuities clause of the Georgia Constitution prohibits the use of public funds for gifts or bonuses, said Ronald Watson, director of the Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts’ education division. A state audit of the library probably would cite the purchase as improper, he said.

Any money that comes from library operations, which are state supported, should be invested in operations, and gift cards don’t qualify, Watson said. More from Savannah Now.

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