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Novelist and Bookstore Owner Ann Patchett Winner of Women's National Book Award

The Women’s National Book Association has announced that novelist Ann Patchett has been selected to receive the 2012-2013 Women’s National Book Award. According to the Association’s website, the biennial award is given to “a living American woman who derives part or all of her income from books and allied arts, and who has done meritorious work in the world of books beyond the duties or responsibilities of her profession or occupation.”

Ann Patchett, whose most recent novel is State of Wonder (HarperCollins, 2011), is the bestselling author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including the novel Bel Canto, which won both the PEN/Faulkner and Orange Prize in 2002. Patchett’s work has also garnered such accolades as the New York Times Notable Book of the Year, the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, and the BookSense Book of the Year Award; and has been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her articles and essays have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, and Vogue.

In 2011, Patchett and publishing veteran Karen Hayes opened Parnassus Books, an independent bookstore in Nashville, Tennessee, after the last remaining bookstores in the city had closed their doors. Patchett has since become a nationally recognized advocate for independent bookselling, and this year was named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.” Poets & Writers reports.

The Concerned Librarian’s Guide to the 2012 ALA Midwinter Exhibit Hall

The Concerned Librarian’s Guide to the 2012 ALA Midwinter Exhibit Hall
With a number of issues floating around libraryland at the present moment, there has been talk in some of the my social circles about what to do about them. Specifically, how to approach tackling them as it relates to library vendors who have expressed support for legislation that has the potential to impede or block access to information (directly or as collateral damage). As the ALA Midwinter Meeting is just around the corner, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity for librarians to meet with company representatives to discuss their concerns about current contentious legislation (such as the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Research Works Act (RWA)) as well as ongoing concerns (such as library eBook lending). Lest some perseverate or advocate for delaying action, our professional conferences are the best venue to voice our concerns face-to-face for the wide array of actions that have the potential to interfere with information access and exchange. This is not the time to waiver on our values and principles.

"Banned Books B.S."

Jonah Goldberg, editor-at-large of National Review Online, has some harsh words for Banned Books Week and for the American Library Association itself too. (h/t)

Can Full-Text Search Replace Metadata?

From a review by Jeffrey Beall of a presentation by Eric Hellman at ALA Annual 2011 that touched upon that:
Hellman's talk was among the most arrogant and flippant I had ever attended at an ALA conference. His talk was supposed to be about linked data, but he exploited his position as speaker to unwarrantedly trash libraries, library standards, and librarians.
By way of GMANE, you can read what the folks at AUTOCAT had to say in discussing the matter further. Links to the slides used are also discussed in that AUTOCAT thread.

Great video from Library Association in Ireland for Library Ireland Week

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The Irish Library Association has created a cool video to promote Library Ireland Week, which kicks off on 7th March. See it on http://www.library.ie/2011/03/02/library-ireland-week-is-nearly-here/

A Stealth Librarian Manifesto (from Confessions of a Science Librarian)

<blockquote> "Stealth librarianship is a way of being...the principles of stealth librarianship apply to all branches of the profession, each in particular ways...the core is the same: to thrive and survive in a challenging environment, we must subtly and not-so-subtly insinuate ourselves into the lives of our patrons.

Endless shame of the spineless American Library Association

Nat Hentoff is really not happy with the ALA. I don't know enough about the situation to have an opinion and certainly not one as curiously strong as his.

Read more about it here.

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An Almost Streamed Meeting Causes a Ruckus At AlA

A couple interesting posts on a meeting at ALA. Briefly: Someone set up a Ustream if the LITA Board meeting. The board voted to suspend the live stream during a part of the meeting.
Read all about it at:
An Almost Streamed Meeting Causes a Ruckus
and
Collaborative tech, virtual participation, and what is an “open meeting” anyways?

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ALA Wikileaks Data Hub

It appears that the Office of Intellectual Freedom and the Washington Office of the American Library Association have created a new "emerging issues" site to provide rapid response on breaking stories that erupt outside the regular cycle of ALA meetings. Their first topic covered by the site is Wikileaks.

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New Stonewall Award for Childrens Books

The American Library Association on Monday announced it has added another prize to its Stonewall Book Awards.

The Stonewall Children's and Young Adult Literature Award will recognize an English-language children's book “of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered experience.”

“Children's books regarding the LGBT experience are critical tools in teaching tolerance, acceptance and the importance of diversity,” Roberta Stevens, president of ALA, said in a statement.

“Our nation is one of diverse cultures and lifestyles and it is important for parents, educators and librarians to have access to quality children's books that represent a spectrum of cultures,” she added.

In making its announcement, the group cited figures by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that show 14 million children are being raised by a gay or lesbian parent and the latest Census data which estimates that more than 56 percent of gay households have at least one child under the age of 18.

Additional coverage in the NYTimes.

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