December 13, 2006
AL Direct is a free electronic newsletter e-mailed every Wednesday to personal members of the American Library Association.


U.S. & World News
ALA News
Booklist Online
Seattle Update
Division News
Round Table News
Seen Online
Tech Talk
Actions & Answers
AL Direct FAQ

SirsiDynix ad

U.S. & World News

EPA logoOpposition to EPA cutbacks increases
The Environmental Protection Agency faces escalating resistance to its cost-saving plan to replace printed library materials with online resources. The transition is part of the agency’s response to President Bush’s proposed $2-million budget reduction in EPA operations for FY2007. In 2006, the agency has already closed regional libraries in Chicago, Dallas, and Kansas City, and has reduced hours or public access to libraries in Boston, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington....

Iraq National Library and archive closes for three weeks due to violence
In the wake of increasing sectarian violence that resulted in the deaths of several staff members, Iraq’s National Library and Archive in Baghdad, which houses the country’s largest depository of books and documents, closed for three weeks on November 21. In a December 6 e-mail to the Chronicle of Higher Education, Director-General Saad Bashir Eskander said the library is in an area where fighting between Shi’a and Sunni militias has intensified, resulting in gunfire and bomb explosions in neighboring buildings....

Internet2 marks 10th anniversary with tenfold speed increase
Some 700 Internet2 members gathered December 4–7 in Chicago to mark the 10th anniversary of the data network that connects nearly two-thirds of college campuses and one-third of high schools in the United States. The meeting included the unveiling of a tenfold increase in the network’s already ultra-fast connectivity....

Michigan library closes branches, slashes jobs after tax defeat
The board of the Bay County (Mich.) Library voted December 4 to close two of the system’s branches, reduce hours at the remaining three branches, and cut 120 positions. The move follows the defeat of a 1.2-mill tax renewal in November, which reduced the system’s operating budget from $5.5 million in 2006 to $2.2 million; the measure had previously failed in an August vote....

Donna CorbeilBerkeley Public Library gets new director
The Berkeley (Calif.) Board of Library Trustees named Donna Corbeil director of library services at the Berkeley Public Library December 6. Corbeil is currently deputy director of Solano County (Calif.) Library. She will start at Berkeley January 8 at an annual salary of $143,000. The former director, Jackie Griffin, resigned in June in the midst of controversy over the installation of RFID devices and complaints about managerial style.

ALA News

National Library Agenda summit meeting with (left to right) Nancy Kranich, George Needham, David Smith, Leslie Burger, and Keith Michael Fiels. Photo by Daniel Kraus

Burger hosts summit on a national library agenda
ALA President Leslie Burger gathered some 40 policy and decision-makers at the ALA Washington Office December 10–11 for a National Library Agenda Summit. One of the summit’s major agenda items was building a case for investing in libraries at the local, state, and national levels. For more details, see the summit wiki....

ALA calls for real update on EPA library status
President Leslie Burger responded to the Environmental Protection Agency’s December 11 update on the status of agency libraries by saying that it “raised more questions than it answered. . . . The EPA referenced American Library Association guidelines and subsequently pointed to a fact sheet on our website as the basis for decision-making. This loose collection of resources is a good starting point for thinking about collection development policies, but does not constitute ‘ALA guidance and criteria.’”...

Burger to speak on EPA library closings at NACEPT meeting
On December 14 at 12:30 p.m., ALA President Leslie Burger will speak at a meeting of the National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology (NACEPT) on the impact of the EPA library closings. The meeting will be held on December 14–15 at the Madison Hotel, 1777 15th Street NW, in Washington, D.C., and it is open to the public, with limited seating....

Have you completed your survey?
ALA and Florida State University’s College of Information are surveying (PDF file) a national sample of public libraries regarding internet connectivity and computing access. Your library may have been chosen to participate (and incidentally be eligible to win a 2 GB iPod nano). The deadline for responding is February 1. More information on the project is available from the FSU Information Use Management and Policy Institute....

Online registration extended for Advocacy Institute
The deadline for registering online to attend the Advocacy Institute at the 2007 ALA Midwinter Meeting has been extended to January 5. By registering online for $25, both members and nonmembers alike will save 50% off the $50 onsite registration fee....

Web retreat scheduled
With the results of its web usability study in hand, ALA will host members and staff in a Web Planning Retreat on December 18 to develop a vision and plan outline for revamping the ALA website. Begun in July, the usability assessment includes interviews of major stakeholder groups, an online survey, hands-on usability testing, focus group discussions, and heuristic analysis. A wiki and blog have been established to share information and encourage participation across the Association....

Andy Bridges (left) and Rick Weingarten record a Washington Office podcastWashington Office is now podcasting
ALA’s Washington Office launched its first District Dispatch Podcast December 7, featuring Emily Sheketoff, Lynne Bradley, and Andy Bridges with an introduction to the office, what it does, and what to expect in future podcasts. In Podcast #2, Rick Weingarten discusses the Office for Information Technology Policy and what it’s been working on recently....
District Dispatch blog, Dec. 7, 12

Booklist Book Club logoBooklist Book Club partners with Downers Grove
The Booklist Book Club now has a library partner—Downers Grove (Ill.) Public Library. Downers Grove is a national leader in innovative readers’ advisory services and also has an active book discussion program. Every month the Book Club will be adding forums for the same books being talked about at Downers Grove, and its online discussions will be co-moderated by Downers Grove staff....

Secrets of the Dead boxFeatured review: Media
Secrets of the Dead: The Sinking of the Andrea Doria, Dec. 2006. 60 min. PBS Video. DVD (978-0-7936-5114-6).
On July 25, 1956, the Andrea Doria, an Italian luxury liner crossing the foggy North Atlantic, was struck “off Nantucket by a Swedish liner going at full speed.” Sixteen hundred passengers were rescued shortly before the ship sunk; 51 persons perished in the tragedy. Relying on reenactment footage and original sources, including newsreel clips, newspaper reports, and archival photos, this intriguing film reexamines the catastrophe....

Interactive Seattle mapInteractive Seattle map
ALA Conference Services now offers an interactive, scalable, customizable map of downtown Seattle that pinpoints the conference hotels as well as nearby dining, nightlife, recreation, and attractions. You can also mark your own destinations and print out whatever portion of the map shows in the viewer. A Seattle regional map is available in case you want to visit Redmond or Issaquah....

King County Library System administrative offices, IssaquahKing County Library System welcomes Midwinter Meeting-goers
Attendees are welcome to visit and tour any of the 43 King County Library System branches surrounding Seattle—including its shipping operations and graphics/print shop. A tour of the Youth Service Center Library at the King County Juvenile Detention Facility is available Monday, January 22. To arrange for a tour, contact Julie Wallace at 425-369-3273....
King County Library System

Center for Wooden BoatsSeattle and Puget Sound area museums
The King County Library System maintains a set of links to museums in the area, including the Center for Wooden Boats, the Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection, the University of Washington Fish Collection, and the Museum of Communications....

King County Library System

Division News

PLA’s proposed new service responses: A draft
June Garcia and Sandra Nelson have reviewed all of the comments from the three open meetings during the 2006 Annual Conference and on the PLA Service Response blog, and they have identified 17 new or revised service responses. As the process continues, the service response descriptions will be expanded to include suggested target audiences, common library services and programs, required resources, and suggested measures for each. PLA will be accepting comments on this draft until January 1 and will present a revised draft at the upcoming Midwinter Meeting....
PLA Blog, Dec. 6

New ALSC wiki offers communication opportunities
Joining in on the latest technology and communication phenomenon, ALSC has established a wiki space to provide its members and others interested in library service to children a place to share ideas and best practices; network with colleagues; discuss issues, trends, and opportunities; and communicate ALSC committee happenings and events....

ALCTS will hold forums at Midwinter
As part of the inauguration of its 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2007, ALCTS will present a series of forums at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle. The ALCTS Forums encourage open discussion of timely topics covering a broad range of ALCTS’ interests from cataloging to collections and a celebration of the division’s 50 years....

YALSA launches new music discussion list
YA-MUSIC, a new discussion list hosted by YALSA, will explore how libraries can use music in all its forms to serve the teens in their communities. The list is open to both members and nonmembers. Librarians are encouraged to discuss recommended practices in collections and programming, as well as specific media, including CDs, MP3s and new emerging technologies....

Round Table

The ethnic press, libraries, and the community
(PDF file)

The January issue of the Social Responsibilities Round Table has a report on the Alternatives in Publication Task Force panel that met at ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. Representatives from the Grass Roots Media Project, the National Newspaper Publishers Association, and the alternative Louisiana Weekly offered their views on the role of libraries in promoting access and intellectual freedom....
SRRT Newsletter, no. 156–157 (Jan.), p. 3


25 receive 2006 New York Times Librarian Awards
The New York Times announced December 8 the names of the 25 winners of the 2006 New York Times Librarian Awards. Now in its sixth year, the program honors librarians from around the country who have provided outstanding public service and have had a strong and positive impact on their nominators. Included for the first time are three academic librarians....
New York Times Company, Dec. 8

Information Professional of the Year named
The Special Libraries Association announced that Rachel Kolsky, president of SLA Europe and manager of information resources with AIG Research and Development in London, has been named Information Professional of the Year at the fourth annual International Information Industry Awards....
Special Libraries Association, Dec. 8

FOLUSA logoLibraries Transform Communities essay contest
Friends of Libraries USA has extended the deadline until January 2 for its new award for a 700-word essay that focuses on how the library can transform a community (see contest rules). The Friends group or library designated in the entry information must be a FOLUSA member with a current membership valid through January 31....
Friends of Libraries USA

Billie M. Levy Travel and Research Grants
Travel grants ranging from $500 to $1,200 are available for individuals to use materials in the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection, a nationally recognized facility housed at the University of Connecticut’s Dodd Research Center in Storrs. The deadline for applications is March 1 for the following summer and academic year....
University of Connecticut Libraries

First round of 2007 NEA grants
The National Endowment for the Arts announced December 12 that it will award $19.4 million to fund 848 grants in FY2007. The Arts Endowment will distribute funds to nonprofit national, regional, state, and local organizations across the country, funding Access to Artistic Excellence grants as well as Literature Fellowships for individuals....
National Endowment for the Arts, Dec. 12

Seen Online

Dec. 18 cover of TimeHow to bring our schools out of the 20th century (subscription required)
The cover story on the December 18 issue of Time magazine is a status report on the need for including information literacy, people skills, global awareness, and other Learning 2.0 skills into the K–12 curriculum. Claudia Wallis and Sonja Steptoe write: “American schools aren’t exactly frozen in time, but considering the pace of change in other areas of life, our public schools tend to feel like throwbacks.”...
Time, Dec. 10

D.C. school libraries see improvements
District of Columbia public school libraries are undergoing their most substantial upgrades in decades as the school system, federal government, and private donors invest millions of dollars to add new books, update computer technology, and redesign spaces to spruce up the aging media centers. In November, improvements to three public school libraries in the Capitol Hill area were completed as part of a $2.4 million public-private initiative that ultimately will include eight schools....
Washington Post, Dec. 7

Blackpool library calendar canceled
Eleven workers at the Queen Street library in Blackpool, England—nine women and two men—stripped down to make a calendar to raise cash for charity. But horrified library bosses banned it from going to the printers after seeing the saucy proofs. One worker branded council bosses “killjoys” and said: “It’s ridiculous. They’re tasteful and nothing like you would see in a lads’ magazine.”...
Blackpool Gazette, Dec. 13

Budget approval may not spare Minneapolis libraries
The Minneapolis city council unanimously approved Mayor R. T. Rybak’s 2007 budget December 11. Included in the $1.3-billion package is money for crime-fighting measures, including adding 43 new police officers and buying more security cameras. The council also included additional money to keep some libraries open. However, library board members say it may not be enough....
Minnesota Public Radio, Dec. 12

Fugitive caught at Philadelphia Free Library computer
The man in the Donovan McNabb jersey got to the Philadelphia Free Library’s main branch at 9 a.m., as usual, and was seated at a public computer terminal, tapping away at his page, as usual. So he did not notice that 15 armed officers were quietly converging on him. That, authorities say, is how a fugitive wanted in Georgia and Massachusetts was captured December 7 without a fight....
Philadelphia Inquirer, Dec. 12

Finders keepers at Brigham Young
A Brigham Young University maintenance worker is $10,000 richer because of an act of honesty 10 years ago. On March 7, 1996, a BYU employee found $10,000 in $100 bills in two PVC pipes in the Harold B. Lee Library. The man immediately turned the property over to police, but no leads were discovered and no rightful owner was identified. On December 6, the money went to the unnamed finder....
Provo (Utah) Daily Herald, Dec. 6

Chilean protesters burn valuable university library books
Masked arsonists entered the University of Chile philosophy and humanities library in the Macul district of Santiago November 28 and stole 1,200 volumes from the collection to create a bonfire outside the building. The action was carried out in the name of the Mapuche Liberation Movement. Some of the books destroyed were rare, including the writings of the Chilean historian Benjamin Vicuña MacKenna (1831–1886) and a copy of Pope Leo XIII’s 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum....
Santiago Times, Dec. 5

Tech Talk

Net Neutrality proponents prepare for next battle
A bill that would have allowed telecommunications and cable companies to prioritize internet content by allowing higher-speed information delivery for higher-paying customers has died. The 109th Congress closed early December 9 without action on the Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement (COPE) Act of 2006. But the Save the Internet coalition is gearing up to continue lobbying for network neutrality when the 110th Congress convenes....
Information Week, Dec. 11

Phrenology chartMicrosoft’s Live Search Books
Tom Peters writes: “After playing around for an hour or so with the recently released public beta version of Microsoft’s Live Search Books, I have to admit—against some vague sense that my better judgment is failing me—that I like it. On December 6, when the beta version was released to the public, I conducted a couple of sample searches on phrenology and spontaneous combustion.” Discover what he found out....
ALA TechSource blog, Dec. 12

Clip from Dotto Tech featuring Steve DottoDotto Tech show promotes Canadian library resources
The Canadian TV show Dotto Tech recently featured a segment demonstrating the benefits of using licensed database resources found in many public libraries. Host Steve Dotto walks viewers through the process of logging in, selecting a database, conducting a search, and refining search parameters. The show appears on the national CHUM network and on Canada’s independent educational channels....
Dotto Tech

LISZEN iconSocial tool added to LISZEN
By now, your library blog may be included in LISZEN. The creator of this library-blog search engine, Garrett Hungerford, has updated his project with LISZEN Trends, which he says is a supplement that adds a social tool to the portal....
ALA TechSource blog, Dec. 13

Tulane expands its digital resources
Tulane University’s main library has worked hard after Hurricane Katrina to find opportunities among its new challenges. The Howard-Tilton Memorial Library has negotiated with a number of prominent publishers to acquire a vast array of new digital archival collections, among them Thomson Gale’s 18th Century Collection, ProQuest’s Gerritsen Women’s Studies Collection, and Readex’s Early American Newspapers series....
Tulane University New Wave, Nov. 27

The Middle East goes digital
Since the 1960s and 1970s, libraries in the West have been digitizing their catalogs and even the contents of their shelves, but a lack of resources has kept all but the most well-funded Middle Eastern libraries from doing the same. The Yale University Library hopes to correct this situation, bringing the fruits of Middle Eastern scholars’ labors into the digital age....
Egypt Today 27, no. 12 (Dec.)

OverDrive launches audiobook and ebook package for schools
Digital media provider OverDrive is offering a School Download Library of 740 audiobook and ebook versions of classics, modern literature, picture books, and study guides with simultaneous access to every title by all students. The Lakeshore Northeast Ohio Computer Association became the first to offer this new library to nearly 150,000 students in the Cleveland area....
OverDrive, Dec. 12

Actions and Answers

GPO modifies cataloging guidelines (PDF file)
The Government Printing Office’s Library Services and Content Management office has announced that it will only provide access-level cataloging for its serial publications and abridged cataloging for CDs, DVDs, brochures, posters, GPO subject bibliographies, and other resources, effective February 1. The changes are needed to “reduce the time needed to catalog some categories of publications.”...
Government Printing Office, Dec.

LC sets up working group on the future of bibliographic control
The Library of Congress has convened a Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control to examine the future of bibliographic description in the 21st century. The new group will present findings on how bibliographic control and other descriptive practices can effectively support management of and access to library materials in the evolving information and technology environment....
Library of Congress, Dec .1

Spanish for library staff
WebJunction is offering a variety of resources to help library staff learn and use Spanish in their work with Spanish-speaking patrons. Included is the workbook and mp3 audio tracks from Infopeople’s Survival Spanish for Library Staff course (54:51) that offers the Spanish pronunciation of commonly used library terms and selected patron questions with answers in Spanish....

Internet search engine safety
A recent survey conducted by antivirus software company McAfee compared the safety of leading search engines, using McAfee SiteAdvisor’s automated website ratings. It found that most search engines are similar in the safety of the sites they link to, though AOL has replaced MSN as the safest engine and Yahoo! replaced Ask as the engine with the most risky results....
McAfee, Dec. 11

Protect your .org logoProtect your .org domain name
Public Interest Registry, the organization that manages the .org domain space, is attempting to raise awareness of the value of .org domain names as well as the potential dangers of allowing them to expire. The process of obtaining expired domain names has become sophisticated, automated, and increasingly popular. And the consequences to the original .org domain holders can be serious. PIR offers five simple steps for protecting your .org....
Public Interest Registry

New Journal of Web Librarianship
Haworth Press is planning to release a new serial, the Journal of Web Librarianship, in early 2007. Edited by Jody Condit Fagan, the first issue will include articles on “Web Access to Electronic Journals and Databases in ARL Libraries” and “Using Wikis for Professional Knowledge Sharing.” Author guidelines are available at the journal website....
Haworth Press

Sponsor: Sirsi Dynix

Seattle Midwinter logo
New members or first-time Midwinter-goers might want to attend these meetings.

ALA 2007 Annual Conference logo
Registration is now open for the 2007 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. Reduced preliminary rates are good until January 5.

Oprah Book Club membership benefit

December 2006
AL cover
Stories inside include:

David Mamet on the Chicago Public Library

Public Library Rebirth

The Top 10 News Stories of 2006

Technology Electronic Reviews logo
Doug Addison’s Web Site Cookbook (O’Reilly, 2006) and Leander Kahney’s The Cult of iPod (No Starch, 2005) are two of the books reviewed in the December issue of LITA’s Technology Electronic Reviews.

St. Ambrose University, Davenport, Iowa. The O’Keefe Library is seeking an energetic and service-oriented librarian for Head of Technical Services. Responsibilities include supervising all aspects of technical services, including supervision and training of four full-time staff and several student workers; original cataloging of materials; overseeing the acquisition and processing of library materials; and working with the Art Department on digital imaging projects....

Joblist logo
for more career opportunities.

Carsen: “I destroyed the book, which wasn’t very librarian of me.
Judson: “You sacrificed what you really wanted for the greater good. Only a great librarian would do that.”

—Librarian-adventurer Flynn Carsen (played by Noah Wyle) briefs his boss Judson (played by Bob Newhart) on his latest adventure in the TNT made-for-cable movie, The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines, Dec. 2.

What do YOU think?

Results of the December 6 poll:

Rate TNT’s 2006 made-for-cable feature The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines.

Didn’t see....13%

(116 responses)

For cumulated results and selected responses to AL Direct polls, visit the AL Online website. (Sorry, we’re a bit behind.)

The Library Education Forum at the Midwinter Meeting, January 19, will continue the dialogue on issues in LIS education and identify new issues and new challenges. Visit the Forum blog as the date gets closer.

Year of Programs cover
In A Year of Programs for Teens (new from ALA Editions), Amy J. Alessio and Kimberly A. Patton take teen services to a new level with step-by-step instructions for planning teen programs. Each chapter covers one month of the year.

2007 election icon
Your ALA membership must be fully current as of January 31 to vote in the spring elections. See the FAQ for more election details.

Ask the ALA Librarianwebsite image
Q. My library is working to define and implement its enterprise brand. Key to this is our website. Have you identified any member websites that embody best practices or are award-winning?

A. Yes, we do have an award for library websites, one of the categories in LAMA’s Public Relations and Marketing Section Swap and Shop Best of Show competition. In 2006, the Ann Arbor (Mich.) District Library was the winner. See the library’s blog for details.

A library’s website is integral to its PR campaign. Considerations include aesthetic design, content, accessibility, and usability. One resource is ALA’s Library Success wiki, which includes a Library Website Hall of Fame.

For more, see the ALA Professional Tips wiki.


Jan. 30–
Feb. 1:

Australian Library and Information Association, Information Online Exhibition and Conference, Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Australia. Contact: ALIA, +61 (2) 9437 9333.

Feb. 13–15:
Search Engine Strategies Conference and Expo, London, United Kingdom. Contact: Incisive Media, 203-295-0050.

Feb. 21
Mar. 5
Alexandrina International Book Fair, Alexandria, Egypt. Contact: Mona Helmy, 203-483-9999, x1093.

Mar. 11–13:
European Association of Information Services Annual Conference, Roskilde University, Denmark. Contact: Johan van Halm.

Apr. 14–17:
Iberoamerican Conference on Librarianship, Asociación de Bibliotecarios Graduados, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Apr. 17–
May 8
Buenos Aires International Book Fair, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Fair organizers are offering free registration and four nights in a hotel to any U.S. librarians to attend professional activities April 16–19 before the fair opens to the public April 20. Contact: Adan Griego 650-723-3150.

June 1722:
Association of Seventh-day Adventist Librarians, 2007 Conference, Helderberg College, Somerset West, South Africa. Contact: Sabrina Riley, 402-486-2600, ext. 2154.

June 19–21:
Joint Use Libraries: An International Conference, The Lowry, Manchester, United Kingdom. Contact: Evidence Base.

Aug. 1923:
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, World Library and Information Congress, Durban, South Africa. “Libraries for the Future: Progress, Development, and Partnerships.” Contact: IFLA.

More Datebook items...


George M. Eberhart,

Daniel Kraus,
Associate Editor:

Greg Landgraf,
Editorial Assistant:

Karen Sheets,
Graphics and Design:

Leonard Kniffel,
American Libraries,

To advertise in American Libraries Direct, contact:
Brian Searles,

Send feedback:

AL Direct FAQ:

All links outside the ALA website are provided for informational purposes only. Questions about the content of any external site should be addressed to the administrator of that site.

American Libraries
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
ext. 4216

ISSN 1559-369X.