July 26, 2006
AL Direct is a free electronic newsletter e-mailed every Wednesday to personal members of the American Library Association.


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U.S. & World News search boxNew WorldCat search site offers public access
OCLC has announced that it will launch a new destination website that will allow users to search the holdings of libraries participating in the WorldCat database directly rather than finding the records as part of search-engine results. The firm says the aim of, to be released in beta form in August, is “to make library resources more visible to Web users, and to increase awareness of libraries.”...

Firings precede new DCPL director’s arrival
Days before Ginnie Cooper was slated to begin her tenure as director of the District of Columbia Public Library July 24, acting director Ellen M. Flaherty summarily dismissed five senior librarians, the Washington Post reported July 20. Board President John W. Hill said the board “fully supports this move.”...

Union supporters disrupt Indianapolis library budget hearing
Some 50 employees of the Indianapolis–Marion County Public Library demonstrated inside and picketed outside a public meeting July 20 on the library’s proposed budget—one that calls for cutting a scheduled 2% salary increase in half and trimming spending on staff telephone calls, travel, and training....

City agrees to consultant’s plan to keep Providence branches open
After accepting a financial consultant’s report that questioned the leadership ability of the Providence (R.I.) Public Library, the city’s Finance Committee agreed to the report’s recommendation July 20 to allocate an additional $250,000 to help keep six branches open and avoid staff layoffs. A day earlier, the PPL board of trustees agreed to contribute $250,000 from the library’s endowment and adopt the report’s suggestions for cutting the 2007 budget by $500,000....

Community mourns murder of Seattle school librarian
Hundreds of family and friends gathered July 20 along a hiking trail to honor the lives of Seattle school librarian Mary Cooper, 56, and her 27-year-old daughter Susanna Stodden. Cooper and Stodden, who were avid hikers, were found shot to death the afternoon of July 11 along the Pinnacle Lake Trail in the Mount Baker–Snoqualmie National Forest....

Texas State Library sues for return of documents
The Texas State Library and Archives Commission in Austin has filed suit against Mary Ann Davis of Waco and the Robert E. Davis Family Trust to recover 48 documents relating to Texas history from the 1830s to the 1850s....

ALA News

Juan WilliamsNPR’s Juan Williams to keynote JCLC
Journalist Juan Williams will serve as presenter during the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color morning keynote session October 14 at the Dallas Adam’s Mark Hotel. Williams will discuss his controversial book Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America—and What We Can Do About It (Crown, August 2006)....



Oxford African American Studies Center databaseFeatured review: Reference
Gates Jr., Henry Louis, ed. Oxford African American Studies Center [database]. Oxford, []. July 2006.
Oxford has built this new database with content from its recently published Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience and Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619–1895: From the Colonial Period to the Age of Frederick Douglass, along with the second edition of Black Women in America (2005) and various other Oxford and Grove titles. There is additional material from the yet-to-be-published African American National Biography. Currently, researchers can access more than 7,500 articles on the site. Also on hand are more than 1,000 images, more than 100 maps, more than 100 charts and tables, and primary sources with specially written commentaries....

Reference books in Spanish for children and adolescents
Isabel Schon, director of the Barahona Center for the Study of Books in Spanish for Children and Adolescents, California State University at San Marcos, reviews atlases and dictionaries, including Atlas enciclopédico infantil (Everest, 2005) and Diccionario de términos del mundo antiguo (Alianza, 2005)....

New Orleans Update

Florida librarians volunteer during conference
Four Palm Beach librarians helped process books at the storm-battered Our Lady of Perpetual Succor school in St. Bernard Parish as volunteers during ALA’s Annual Conference. Laura Brenkus, director of outreach and communications for the Society of the Four Arts adult library, and three colleagues worked in one of the school’s few air-conditioned rooms, entering numbers into databases and pasting bar codes onto books. The school’s new librarian supplied tablets to counteract the headaches induced by mold....
Palm Beach (Fla.) Daily News, July 20

Google video screen shotGoogle interviews conference-goers
Librarians at Annual Conference in New Orleans express their thoughts at the Google booth as well as at the company’s reception in this 3-minute video....
Google Librarian Center

Division News

Ahmad GhadbanWinning Teen Tech Week logoTeen Tech Week logo winner
YALSA has announced that teen Ahmad Ghadban (right) of the Wood County District Public Library in Bowling Green, Ohio, is the winner of the Teen Tech Week logo contest for his design, “Plug into Technology.” Teen Tech Week, March 4–7, 2007, is a new YALSA celebration aimed at getting teens to use their libraries for the different technologies offered there, such as DVDs, databases, audiobooks, and video games....

Participants named in 2006 YA Galley project
YALSA has selected 15 public libraries and school library media centers from across the country to participate in its Young Adult Galley/Teens’ Top Ten project. YA Galley is an ongoing project in which publishers of young adult books provide copies of their recent titles to teen book discussion groups in libraries....

Lexington to host Arbuthnot lecturer Kevin Henkes
ALSC has chosen Lexington, Kentucky, as the site of the 2007 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture to be held Sunday, March 4. Children’s illustrator and author Kevin Henkes will deliver the lecture, which will be hosted by the McConnell Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at the University of Kentucky School of Library and Information Science....

PLA course logoPLA announces new start dates for e-learning courses
“E-Learning @ PLA,” the online education program of the Public Library Association, will offer five new start dates for two of its popular courses. “New Planning for Results” and “Creating Policies for Results” will each be offered five times between September 2006 and April 2007....

Shoaf selected as LA&M associate editor
LAMA has announced that Eric C. Shoaf, preservation librarian at Brown University’s Rockefeller Library in Providence, Rhode Island, is the new associate editor of its quarterly magazine Library Administration and Management....

Lapsley is 2006–2007 LAMA president
Andrea R. Lapsley, director of development for libraries at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, began her 2006–2007 term as president of LAMA on July 1....


Norman HorrocksNorman Horrocks named Officer of the Order of Canada
Norman Horrocks, former director of the library school at Dalhousie University, was one of 77 people appointed July 24 to the Order of Canada by Governor General Michaelle Jean. The Order of Canada was established in 1967 to recognize outstanding achievement and service in various fields of endeavor. It is Canada’s highest honor for lifetime achievement and has three different levels of membership: Companion, Officer, and Member....
Canadian Press, July 24

Seen Online

Vamos a Cuba coverVamos a Cuba ordered back on shelf
A federal judge on Monday ordered all copies of Vamos a Cuba and 23 other children’s books returned to Miami-Dade school libraries, hobbling the School Board’s attempt to ban the controversial books. In a sometimes scathing 89-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Alan Gold said the School Board “abused its discretion in a manner that violated the transcendent imperatives of the First Amendment.”...
Miami Herald, July 24

UC–Google partnership explored
The University of California system may soon team up with search-engine giant Google to put millions of university library books online. The UC Board of Regents is in talks with the company to join the Google Library Project, which is currently scanning the libraries of the University of Michigan, the University of Oxford, Harvard University, Stanford University, and the New York Public Library....
Daily Californian, July 20

DC’s Rule 7 a barrier to literacy
Leonard Minsky is a longtime Naderite, an academic who has helped produce the research that Ralph Nader and his various projects use to change public policy. Minsky is not one to yield to bureaucratic and regulatory obstacles. But he leaves his post as director of Nader’s D.C. Library Renaissance Project—a four-year-old effort to boost support and funding for the libraries—concluding that Rule 7 is effectively preventing the city from teaching immigrants and U.S.-born adults how to read....
Washington Post, July 25

Coke-arrow puzzleIndiana University’s Lilly Library acquires collection of mechanical puzzles
Puzzle enthusiast and author Jerry Slocum has announced his intention to donate his prized collection of more than 30,000 puzzles and nearly 4,000 puzzle-related books to IU’s Lilly Library. Beginning August 3, approximately 400 of the puzzles will be on display in a refurbished exhibition space named in Slocum’s honor....
Indiana University, July 19

NYPL opens its 86th branch
A ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony marked the opening of New York Public Library’s new $2.4-million Morris Park branch library, located at 985 Morris Park Avenue in the Bronx, on July 21. Designed by architect Joel David Zeiden, the 6,600-square-foot, two-level library has an extensive collection of 25,000 adult, young adult, and children’s books; DVDs and audio recordings; and 19 public-access computers, wireless internet, and a self-checkout station....
New York Public Library; Time Warner Cable’s NY1 News, July 25

100-year-old librarian “keeps dust off the floor” in Vinland, Kansas
For the last eight decades, Martha Cutter Kelley Smith has tended to the books at the Coal Creek Library. But not because she’s an avid reader. Just as she has for the past 80 years, the 100-year-old Smith toils away at Kansas’ oldest library, keeping herself busy and keeping a monument to the small community of Vinland up and running....
Lawrence (Kans.) Journal-World, July 24

Noah WebsterDictionary marks 200th anniversary
A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language turned 200 years old this year, but most Americans probably have never heard of the work that introduced 5,000 new words to readers and is widely considered the first American dictionary. The 408-page book, created by lexicographer and writer Noah Webster, does not look like a modern dictionary....
Springfield (Mass.) Republican, July 24

Readers vs. resellers at library book sales
When the Pequot Library in Southport, Connecticut, begins its five-day book sale on Friday, there will be 147,000 books available, including a first printing of the novel Ben-Hur and a 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. But those books, and many of the other 300 rare books there, are expected to be gone soon after the gate opens at 9 a.m....
New York Times, July 22

Actions and Answers

Jan Schakowsky Read posterSkokie Read posters capture Illinois pols
U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) displays one of her favorite books, Real Chicago: Photographs from the Files of the Chicago Sun-Times (2004), by Richard Cahan, Michael Williams, and Neal Samors. The poster is one in a series of eight produced by the Skokie (Ill.) Public Library....
Skokie (Ill.) Public Library

Can Wikipedia conquer expertise?
On March 1, Wikipedia, the online interactive encyclopedia, hit the million-articles mark, with an entry on Jordanhill, a railway station in suburban Glasgow. The Encyclopædia Britannica, which for more than two centuries has been considered the gold standard for reference works, has only 120,000 entries in its most comprehensive edition. Apparently, no traditional encyclopedia has ever suspected that someone might wonder about Sudoku or about prostitution in China....
New Yorker, July 31

Ex Libris acquired
AL blogger Andrew Pace welcomes speculation on this automation news: “It might not be the ‘continued consolidation’ of the ILS market that has been predicted by many, including me, but it’s clearly a step in that direction. Ex Libris Group announced early this morning (not quite as early in Jerusalem, where the company is headquartered) that it will be acquired by Francisco Partners, ‘one of the world’s largest technology-focused private equity funds.’”...
Hectic Pace, July 26

Most people use two-word phrases for online searches
Dutch web-analytics company reports that most people use two-word phrases in search engines. Of all the search phrases worldwide, 28.9% of the people use two-word phrases, 27.8% use three-word phrases, and 17.1% use four-word phrases. Fewer people use one keyword since the last measurement in July 2005...., July 24

2006 Improving Literacy grants
The Department of Education announced on July 25 the 2006 grantees for the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries program. In total, only 78 grants were awarded in only 26 states. View the list of grant awards and abstracts here. The program is administered by the U.S. Department of Education and is the first program specifically aimed at upgrading school libraries since the original school library resources program was established in 1965....
ALA Washington Office, July 25

Learning in Libraries logoConference to focus on serving youth during out-of-school time
Serving urban youth during out-of-school hours will be the focus of a major conference—Learning in Libraries: A National Call to Action—to be held October 19–20 in New York City. The deadline for registration is August 31. Out-of-School Time programming is attracting serious attention from local, state, and national policy makers and legislators....
Urban Libraries Council, July 17

Free template for writing disaster plans
The Northeast Document Conservation Center and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners have created dPlan, a free online program to help institutions write comprehensive disaster plans. dPlan provides an easy-to-use template that allows museums, libraries, archives, and other cultural institutions of all sizes to develop a customized plan that includes disaster response procedures, salvage priorities, preventive maintenance schedules, and more....
Northeast Document Conservation Center

Collaborative reference work in the blogosphere (PDF file)
UNC-Chapel Hill SILS Assistant Professor Jeffrey Pomerantz and Ph.D. candidate Frederic Stutzman argue that blogs can be used to good effect in reference services and discuss Lyceum, an open source blogosphere application, as an environment for blog-based reference service....
Reference Services Review 34, no. 2 (2006)

ARL logoARL salary survey highlights
The combined median salary for U.S. and Canadian ARL university libraries rose to $57,074—a 3.3% gain over the past year. This kept pace with inflation in the U.S., where the Consumer Price Index rose 3.2%, and outperformed inflation in Canada, where the CPI increased 2.0%. The median nonuniversity library salary increased to $76,083; that 2.8% increase was half as large as in 2004–2005....
Association of Research Libraries, Bimonthly Report, June

Book trailers are building hype, movie-style
Judith Keenan says the rationale behind book trailers is to take the onus off retailers to promote books and market to consumers directly. The convenience and immediacy of the internet make it a no-brainer. HarperCollins has produced close to a dozen trailers since early February. The motivation is “to drive early word of mouth,” says Steve Osgoode, director of online marketing and new media for HarperCollins Canada....
CBC, July 3

Documentary filmmakers’ statement of best practices in fair use (PDF file)
This statement of best practices in fair use is necessary because filmmakers have found themselves, over the last decade, increasingly constrained by demands to clear rights for copyrighted material. Today, documentarians believe that their ability to communicate effectively is being restricted by an overly rigid approach to copyright compliance, and that the public suffers as a result....
International Documentary Association, November 18, 2005

Sponsor: Sirsi Dynix

Sirsi Dynix ad

Continuing Education Clearinghouse
is a keyword-searchable database of CE opportunities offered by ALA and its units.

Teen Read Week poster
What can social software do for your library? Find out in the latest issue of Library Technology Reports. “Web 2.0 & Libraries: Best Practices for Social Software,” by librarian, author, and technology trainer Michael Stephens, details successful library implementations of social-software tools, including blogs, podcasts, RSS feeds, IM, wikis, and Flickr.

Lawyers for Libraries logo
An ongoing project of the Office for Intellectual Freedom, Lawyers for Libraries is designed to build a nationwide network of attorneys committed to the defense of the First Amendment freedom to read. The next available session is at the Columbus Training Institute, Columbus, Ohio, November 3.

Teen Read Week poster
The theme for Teen Read Week 2006 is Get Active @ your library, which encourages teens to use the resources at their library to lead an active life. Use this year’s theme to encourage teens to get active and volunteer or get active with sports and fitness.

Results of the
July 19 poll:

How do you use Wikipedia for answering reference questions?

  • As a first choice for some questions (17%)
  • When it comes up in a search-engine result (17%)
  • As a secondary choice when other online options fail (22%)
  • When print sources fail (6%)
  • Rarely or occasionally (38%)
  • Never (20%)
  • Other (11%)

(201 responses)

For cumulated results and selected responses to all AL Direct polls, visit the AL Online website.


August 2006
AL cover
Stories inside include:

New Orleans Gathering Sends Message of Hope and Renewal

Building Bridges through Consensus

Libraries in the Eye of the Storm

FOLUSA is coordinating a national Friends of Libraries Week, October 22–28. The celebration offers a two-fold opportunity to promote and celebrate the Friends. Use the time to creatively promote your group in the community, to raise awareness, and to encourage membership.

Sept. 19–22:
Australian Library and Information Association, 2006 Biennial Conference, Perth, Western Australia. “Click06: Create, Lead, Innovate, Connect, Knowledge.” Contact: ALIA, +61 (8) 3922-6906.

Sept. 30:
National Book Festival, Washington, D.C., National Mall. Sponsored by the Library of Congress. Contact: National Book Festival, 888-714-4696.

Sept. 30–
Oct. 1:

Second European Information Architecture Summit, Maritim proArte Hotel, Berlin. Sponsored by the American Society for Information Science and Technology. “Building Our Practice.” Audience: Anyone involved in IA from consultants to professionals working in corporate or government environments. Contact: EuroIA.

Oct. 10–14: Association for Educational Communications and Technology, Annual Conference, Dallas. “Strengthening Connections.” Contact: AECT.

Nov. 15:
RFID in Libraries Conference, Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, QEII Conference Centre, London. Contact: CILIP, +44 (20) 7255 0505.

Dec. 5–8:
International Conference on Digital Libraries, New Delhi, India. “Digital Libraries: Information Management for Global Access.” Contact: The Energy and Resources Institute, +91 (11) 2468 2141.

Feb. 21–Mar. 5, 2007:
Alexandrina International Book Fair, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt. Contact: Mona Helmy, +20 (3) 483-9999, ext. 1093.

More Datebook items...

Create your own celebrity READ posters with ALA Graphics’ READ CD 2, which contains a selection of backgrounds and type styles.


“The new Minneapolis Central Library is gorgeous, state-of-the-art, efficient, and accessible to everyone—when the doors aren’t locked. After today’s grand-opening celebrations, the inadequacy of the operating budget for the city’s 15-library system will loom like the 30-foot Beverly Pepper sculpture on the building’s Nicollet Mall side.”

—Reporter Kristin Tillotson in “Budget Woes Loom as New Library Draws Oohs and Ahs,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, May 19.


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