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    June 4th, 2009LISWire aggregatorLISWire

    CHICAGO—Attend Annual Conference from your desktop this year with the American Library Association’s (ALA) new Virtual Conference. ALA is offering 10 interactive Web sessions on Monday, July 13, and Tuesday, July 14, at the closing of the 2009 Annual Conference in Chicago.

    Interact with speakers and other attendees during each of these hour-long sessions on a variety of exciting topics.

    These interactive programs from ALA’s Washington Office, the Office of Intellectual Freedom and several other divisions and offices will be the next best thing to being right at the Annual Conference itself.

    Topics will include accessing stimulus money for broadband deployment, greening your library and best customer service.

    Some of the featured programs are:

    * “Conversants”— explore a new way of looking at librarianship as centered on learning and enhancing the conversation of communities.
    * “Be My Guest: Customer Service from the Best,” presented by ASCLA—learn ways to make library patrons feel welcome and have a positive experience.
    * “You Got Me, Do You Like Me? Evaluating Next Generation Catalogs,” presented by RUSA—hear from a panel of academic and public information professionals who have been evaluating their open source and off-the-shelf next generation catalogs.
    * “Overview of the Broadband Deployment and Infrastructure Development: How Libraries Can Access the $7.2 Billion,” featuring John Windhausen, Jr., president of Telepoly Consulting.
    * “Small Scale Green”—learn how to “green” existing library facilities without having to start anew.

    The Virtual Conference is perfect for those who can’t make it to Chicago this year or for Conference attendees who missed sessions due to busy or conflicting schedules.

    All full registrants for the ALA Conference will have access to these sessions after the conference. Those not attending Conference in-person can register for the Virtual Conference online through the ALA Web site. The cost is $215 for ALA members, $210 for division members, $120 for student members, $145 for retired members, $298 for non-members and $215 for institutional members.

    Libraries or schools can also receive the following special group rates: $300 for one to three employees; $500 for four to nine employees; and $1000 for 10-plus employees. Register online at

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    June 4th, 2009LISWire aggregatorLISWire

    Borders(R) has launched "Babel Clash," a new Science Fiction blog that proudly features the geekiest debates in the galaxy. Accessible at, "Babel Clash" is moderated by Borders' expert Science Fiction Buyer Morgan Burns and includes a rotating cast of authors and guest contributors who engage in debates on all things sci-fi. About every two weeks, a new guest contributor will join the blog to introduce new debate topics. Currently, Burns and New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison, whose new book "Once Dead, Twice Shy," hit shelves just days ago, are discussing this summer's blockbuster movies. Future guest contributors will include well known sci-fi authors Brandon Sanderson, who penned "Mistborn," and China Mieville, author of "The City & The City."

    Babel Clash" is just one of many ways Borders is connecting with book and entertainment lovers through social media. Borders also recently launched the "Borders Ink" Facebook(R) page, a source of information on all things related to teen literature and graphic novels moderated by Borders' expert Young Adult (YA) Fiction Buyer Liz Marotte. The Borders Books Facebook page, which features author interviews, book recommendations, photos, guest postings, exclusive author content and more, has been reaching tens of thousands of book, music and movie lovers for the last several months. Further, those who want to be plugged into Borders to learn what's going on every day, can follow Borders on Twitter. Borders recently plugged its followers into Book Expo America (BEA), the premier North American publishing event, where staffers "tweeted" regularly about authors and books. Likewise, authors such as Jeff Kinney, Nicholas Sparks, Lisa Scottoline and Audrey Niffenegger, who stopped by the Borders booth at BEA to talk about their books, tweeted about Borders.

    "We wanted to get a good discussion going around the genres that really matter to our customers, so we created 'Babel Clash,' our sci-fi blog, and 'Borders Ink,' our Facebook page dedicated to YA fiction and graphic novels," said Rich Fahle, vice president of "These communities are moderated by our buyers, whose passion for books is unparalleled - and contagious! They're great ambassadors for books and Borders and I think book lovers are really going to love being part of the conversations and debates they generate.

    "We're always exploring new ways to connect with readers about books, music and movies," added Fahle. "By engaging on Facebook and Twitter, we're not only taking our conversation viral, but we're going where readers are already hanging out."

    About Borders Group

    Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., Borders Group, Inc. (NYSE: BGP) is a leading retailer of books, music and movies with more than 25,000 employees. Through its subsidiaries, the company operates approximately 1,000 stores worldwide primarily under the Borders(R) and Waldenbooks(R) brand names. For online shopping, visit For more information about the company, visit

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    June 4th, 2009LISWire aggregatorLISWire

    Numerous improvements have been made to TechXtra the free technology search service.

    TechXtra is provided by the ICBL and Library at Heriot-Watt University. Using TechXtra, anyone can find articles, books, the best websites, the latest industry news, job announcements, technical reports, technical data, full text eprints, the latest research, thesis & dissertations, teaching and learning resources and more, in engineering, mathematics and computing. TechXtra searches over 4 million items from 31 collections in technology, and provides several additional services.

    For full details of the improvements, please see the TechXtra News Blog

    Changes include:
    New full text indicators on search results pages, which show the likely availability of full text.
    Faster searching of the Arrow and CISTI databases, where you can find Australian and Canadian research.
    Updated RAM (Recent Advances in Manufacturing) database.
    Over 100 new sources of job announcements and industry news in the OneStep Jobs and OneStep Industry News services.
    A new TechXtra SRU service.
    More free magazine subscriptions.

    Further collections will be added to TechXtra in the future. Details will be announced on the TechXtra News Blog.

    Want more? There’s a list of Ten Science Search Engines