November 8, 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
Seen Online
Tech Talk
Actions & Answers
AL Direct FAQ

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U.S. & World News

HAPLR logoHennen’s American Public Library Ratings 2006 (PDF file)
Naperville (Ill.) and North Canton (Ohio) Public Libraries repeated this year as the top-ranked libraries in their population categories, while Santa Clara County (Calif.) Library makes its return to the top after slipping to second last year. In their categories, Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Public Library leaped to number one from number four last year, while Monroe County (Ind.) Public Library rose to the number two spot from fifth. See the top 10 libraries in each population category from 1999 to 2006 on Thomas J. Hennen’s HAPLR website....
American Libraries 37 (Nov. 2006): 40–42

Arrest made in Salt Lake City bombing
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms has arrested a suburban Chicago man in the September 15 bombing of the Salt Lake City Main Library. Although no one was injured in the third-floor explosion, which blew out a plate-glass window and destroyed a nearby chair, the afternoon incident triggered the evacuation of some 400 patrons and staff....

Architect's drawing of new Bozeman Public LibraryGreen Bozeman library reserves parking for hybrids
Scheduled to open November 12, the new Bozeman (Mont.) Public Library has reserved its prime parking spots for hybrid vehicles and car pools. The policy is part of the library’s effort to obtain silver certification from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system—a requirement if the library wishes to secure a promised contribution of at least $500,000 from an anonymous donor....

Toronto library worker extradited for 1969 Chicago shooting
Canadian Minister of Justice Victor Toews has ordered the extradition to the United States of a former research assistant at the Toronto Public Library’s central reference library who was arrested in 2004 as a suspect in the shooting of a Chicago police officer in 1969....

ALA News

2006 ALA-APA Salary Survey cover2006 survey shows average librarian salary up by 4.6%
With data from more than 1,000 public and academic libraries, the 2006 edition of the ALA-APA Salary Survey: Librarian—Public and Academic shows that the mean salary increased 4.6% from 2005, up $2,480 to $56,259. The survey examines aggregated data from more than 10,000 individual salaries at the state and regional levels. Salaries ranged from $22,000 to $253,500, with $50,976 the median....

Cathleen BourdonBourdon named associate executive director
Cathleen Bourdon, executive director of RUSA and ASCLA, has been appointed ALA Associate Executive Director for Communications and Member Relations. She will assume her duties on December 1. In her new post, Bourdon will manage the Communications and Member Relations Department, which includes the Chapter Relations Office, ALA Library, International Relations Office, Member and Customer Service Center, Membership Promotion, Office of Research and Statistics, Public Information Office, and the Public Programs Office....

Advocacy Now logoAdvocacy Institute at 2006 CLA Annual Conference
ALA is presenting an Advocacy Institute November 10 at the 2006 California Library Association annual conference in Sacramento at the Sheraton Grand Hotel. Attendees will take home strategies to successfully advocate for their libraries, including message development, lobbying basics, and how to create coalitions with library staff members, trustees, and Friends....

Deadline for Midwinter Advocacy Institute
The deadline for advance registration for the Advocacy Institute at the 2007 ALA Midwinter Meeting is December 8. By using the advance registration form, advocates can reserve their seat and lunch for $25—a 50% savings over on-site registration....

Washington Office signWashington Office debuts on Flickr
The ALA Washington Office made its debut November 1 on Flickr, the popular photo-sharing website. Photos currently posted show interior and exterior views of the ALA offices on the ground, first, and second floors of the Pacific House, located at 1615 New Hampshire Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C....

Black? White! coverFeatured review: Books for youth
Seeger, Laura Vaccaro. Black? White! Day? Night! Nov. 2006. 24p. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter, hardcover. 1-59643-185-7.
Bold colors, carefully placed cutouts, and full-page lift-the-flaps make this much more than just another concept book about opposites. Children will be captivated from the very first page: a large black flap with a cutout revealing a black bat set against a pure white background. The single word black? printed in white, stands out clearly on the page. When kids lift the flap, they’ll see the word white! (in white type) and discover that what appeared to be a bat is really the mouth of a ghost....

Postcard of Pike Place Market, 1940sPike Place Market
Seattle’s Pike Place Market, with its familiar neon-lit clock and brass pig, is a renowned landmark, attracting millions of tourists and locals every year. It’s a fun place to shop, find food, watch people, and enjoy the city’s street performers. Next August it celebrates its 100th birthday....
Pike Place Market;

Division News

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince coverTeens vote for favorite YA book
Teen readers across the country voted Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Scholastic, 2005) by J. K. Rowling as their favorite book to take the number-one spot on the annual Teens’ Top Ten, sponsored by YALSA. Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight (Little, Brown, 2005) came in second place. The vote took place during Teen Read Week, October 15–21, and gave teens an opportunity to voice their choice of the best new young adult books....

Omar WasowOmar Wasow to speak at AASL 13th National Conference
AASL welcomes technology analyst Omar Wasow as a featured speaker at its 13th National Conference, “The Future Begins @ your library,” October 25–28, 2007, in Reno, Nevada. Wasow, the cofounder of, will deliver remarks at the Closing General Session....


2007 scholarship application available online
ALA has more than $300,000 in scholarships available for students who are studying library science or school library media at the master’s degree level. Scholarships range from $2,500 to $6,500 per student per year. The application deadline is March 1, 2007....

Lincoln Trail wins humanitarian award (PDF file)
The cities of Champaign and Urbana, Illinois, honored the Lincoln Trail Libraries System at the October 18 Champaign-Urbana International Humanitarian Awards for its humanitarian efforts with the PolyTalk Project. The PolyTalk Library Interpreters Project assists persons with limited proficiency in English by connecting them with a real-time translator....
Lincoln Trail Libraries System, Oct. 19

Seen Online

Senators call for delay in closing EPA libraries
A group of senators has joined the fray over whether the Environmental Protection Agency should slow or stop a campaign to digitize materials in its technical libraries and close the facilities to agency researchers and the public. On November 3, 17 Democratic senators and one Independent wrote to appropriators (PDF file) asking that EPA be directed, through the budget process, to maintain physical access to its libraries while the public is given an opportunity to comment on planned closures....
Government Executive,
Nov. 7

NCLIS urges net neutrality (PDF file)
The U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science announced November 7 its position on internet neutrality, currently under debate in Congress. NCLIS Chairman Beth Fitzsimmons said that the commission respectfully encourages “Congress to reiterate strongly the position it took when legislation permitting commercial traffic on the internet was developed. Equal treatment of content is important to all information seekers.”...
NCLIS, Nov. 7

Lack of funding threatens Buffalo-area libraries
A year after 15 library branches were shut down as a result of a budget crisis in Erie County, New York, three more are in danger of losing their charters because hours and services do not meet state requirements. That was the bleak picture painted November 6 by the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library as it urged citizens to back the restoration of $2.3 million in county funding. Under the county’s proposed 2007 budget, the library appropriation would remain unchanged at $21.6 million....
Buffalo (N.Y.) News, Nov. 7

Other Worlds cover, July 1950Mars to get its first library
The writings of A. E. van Vogt wouldn’t be mistaken for Giller Prize material, but the late Canadian pioneer of science fiction has earned that genre’s ultimate tribute. His 1950 short story “Enchanted Village” about an astronaut’s nightmarish mission to Mars (which appeared in Other Worlds, July 1950) will be blasted into space by NASA next August in the Phoenix Mars lander, along with works by such sci-fi luminaries as Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke, to form “the Red Planet’s first library.”...
Ottawa (Ont.) Citizen, Nov. 2

Thoughts in a Jerusalem library
Columnist Amotz Asa-El writes: “The other day I entered the Yad Ben-Zvi Library where I often write and saw a familiar face, former president Yitzhak Navon, writing diligently and sitting modestly among the rest of the library’s usual crowd, a random collection of researchers, teachers, students, journalists, and tour guides. Few sights could be more Jerusalemite than this, I thought.”...
Jerusalem Post, Oct. 24

B.C. college lends out experts
Douglas College in British Columbia is coming to life—literally, with the introduction of its Living Library. A service available both at its New Westminster and Coquitlam campuses, the Living Library allows anyone interested in learning more about a specific subject to borrow a person—including a sea kayaker or an entomologist—instead of a book to get the information they’re looking for....
Burnaby (B.C.) News Leader, Nov. 3

Tech Talk

Google Book Search logoGoogle Book Search: A review
University of Hawaii LIS Professor Péter Jacsó reviews the functionality and value of Google Book Search (GBS), launched in 2004 under the name Google Print, compared with Amazon’s Search Inside the Book feature. He writes: “Time and again I found top notch, ready reference sources in GBS with limited preview option which are not searchable through Amazon’s SIB subset. . . [but] beyond simple keyword searching, Google’s software seems to be cognitively challenged, to put it nicely, and hinders access to the content, which would deserve at least a functional and half as smart software as Amazon has.”...
Péter’s Digital Reference Shelf, Nov.

My avatar wears tight jeans
Michael Stephens shares five things he learned at the Internet Librarian Conference in Monterey, California, October 23–25. One was to put experience first: “David King pointed out some good and bad Web experiences, and he urged the crowd to think about how users experience library websites [PDF file of presentation]. He also called for a quick turnaround timeline for web redesigns. We can’t take 1–2 years to implement these changes.”...
ALA TechSource blog, Oct. 31

IM reference talking points
Chicago-area librarian Aaron Schmidt offers some reasons why instant messaging might be a good tool for reference services: “Don’t worry, people aren’t going to get mad if you’re helping people online when they walk up as long as you explain what you’re doing. Use those moments to promote your service!” The University of Guelph Library has already started using it....
Walking Paper blog, Nov. 2

Idea image from Innovation LabThe 10 hottest IT trends
The Innovation Lab in Aarhus, Denmark, offers its take on the most-discussed issues in research, product development, and service designs in the field of information technology—among them customer-made innovations, geo-awareness, virtual worlds, web video, digital product placement, and humanitarian technology....
Innovation Lab

Many young adults burning out on social websites
If you believe the buzz, the latest incarnation of the Web is all about sharing, connecting, and community. But even as the phenomenon continues to swell, the effort to maintain an active social life on the Web is taking its toll. Some have grown tired of what once was novel. Some feel bombarded by unsolicited messages, friend requests, and advertisements. And some are cutting back....
San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 2

Actions and Answers

Now Is the Hour coverPW’s 100 best books of the year
Publishers Weekly released its annual list of 100 best books of the year, divided by review category and arranged alphabetically. There are big books (The Road by Cormac McCarthy) and not so big books (Now Is the Hour by Tom Spanbauer), and books the editors wanted to call attention to (The Unfinished Novel and Other Stories by Valerie Martin)....
Publishers Weekly, Nov. 6

Gates Foundation gives OCLC $1.2 million
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awarded the OCLC Online Computer Library Center a $1.2-million grant November 6 to develop a national marketing campaign to promote the value of libraries. OCLC will use the money to conduct research, develop strategies, create materials, and test elements of the campaign that could form a model for regional- and local-level programs....
OCLC, Nov. 6

Library Company of PhiladelphiaLibrary Company celebrates 275 years
In November 1731, Benjamin Franklin and 50 of his friends started the country’s first successful public circulating library so that people of moderate means, the 25-year-old Franklin included, could better themselves through reading. Over 500,000 volumes later, the Library Company of Philadelphia, now a world-renowned independent research library, is turning 275....
Library Company of Philadelphia, Nov. 8

School Library Journal Summit in Chicago
Joan Frye Williams’s keynote address at the School Library Journal Summit November 4 offered suggestions on how to “Make Sense of the Future.” One tip was on cutting out jargon: “Civilians (those outside of the library world) have no idea what we’re saying. Instead of ‘Reference Desk,’ put up a sign that reads, ‘Homework Insurance: I Can Make Sure You Ace Your Class!’”...
AASL Blog, Nov. 5

30 positive uses of social networking + 1
This compilation (PDF file) puts together in one place each of the posts on the YALSA blog in October about how social networking can be a positive force in teen lives. The “extra” post which really makes it 31 is a wrap-up of the 30 days of posts....
YALSA Blog, Nov. 2

LISZEN logoLibrary-blog search engine
LISZEN searches the contents of more than 500 library and information science–related blogs. It was developed by Wayne State University LIS student Garrett Hungerford. The LISZEN wiki lists the blogs currently searched....
Library Zen

Submit a proposal for Uncharted Waters
November 10 is the deadline for sending proposals for breakout, discussion, or poster sesions to LOEX 2007, “Uncharted Waters: Tapping the Depth of Our Community to Enhance Learning,” San Diego, California, May 3–5. Preference will be given to new, innovative, creative, nontraditional, and other ventures that people called crazy until they worked....
LOEX 2007

J.E. Lewis Real Estate office in Kentfield, California, circa 1905California’s Local History Digital Resources Project
The California State Library’s Local History Digital Resources Project assists staff in California libraries from Modoc to Calexico to digitize their manuscripts, photographs, and works of art—like Marin County Free Library’s real-photo postcard of a 1905 Kentfield real estate office (above). The California State Library pays for staff members to attend training on digitizing artifacts, provides access to a cataloging tool, offers scanning services for 200 images, and allows $5,000 for costs related to each library’s project....
California State Library, Nov. 6

Flash Gordon's Planet MongoStrange maps
Map librarians may wish to take note of a blog dedicated to weird and unusual maps. Recent posts show Flash Gordon’s Planet Mongo (right), Greater Finland, Europe’s various North-South divides, the shrinking of New South Wales, the United States of Greater Austria, Europe fits in Brazil, Manhattan neighborhoods, Germany wins World War I, and redrawing the map of the Middle East....
Strange Maps

Paul SturgesFreedom of expression: The Danish cartoons case (PDF file)
Loughborough University Library Studies Professor Paul Sturges takes the distress and anger caused by the publication in a Danish newspaper of cartoons containing satirical depictions of the Prophet Muhammad as the starting point for an exploration of the dimensions of the right to freedom of expression contained in the UN Declaration of Human Rights....
IFLA Journal 32, no. 3 (2006), pp. 3–10

Comparison guide to MLIS distance-ed programs
Compiled by Mary Thompson at the Ocean County (N.J.) Library, this chart lists in-state and out-of-state costs, residency requirements, credits, contact information, and application deadlines for 21 programs....
Central Jersey Regional Library Cooperative

World's Fastest Librarian stillThe World’s Fastest Librarian
The World’s Fastest Librarian is a short film (12:52) following Mary (played by Bridget Zinn), a fictional public librarian at the Madison Public Library (played by the University of Wisconsin SLIS Lab Library) as she prepares for the World’s Fastest Librarian Competition. The tongue-in-cheek film was a collaborative project involving over a dozen library school students....
World’s Fastest Librarian

Chronicles of Libraria stillChronicles of Libraria
David and Daniel Ariew created this video (5:22) as a community service project for the University of South Florida Libraries, which are featured prominently. A parody of the Saturday Night Live “Lazy Sunday” rap video, “Chronicles of Libraria” has an antiplagiarism theme (with smoothies). As Daniel says, “Where would we be without the library and the powers of rap?”...

Sponsor: Sirsi Dynix

Seattle Midwinter logo
Each morning of the Midwinter Meeting, on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, January 20–22, get up early and attend a lively, educational, and innovative session in the Seattle Sunrise Speaker Series, which will run 8:00–9:00 a.m., sponsored by H. W. Wilson.

ALA Snowman poster
NEW! The Snowman READ poster—celebrate the season with Raymond Briggs’s wintry hero.

2007 Election icon
Your ALA membership must be fully current as of January 31, 2007.  Members who join or renew after this will not be eligible to vote in the 2007 elections.

“The greatest of all our American institutions is our system of public libraries. No country has anything like it. If you’ve tried to do research or work with libraries overseas and abroad you are immediately reminded how fortunate we are. We just take it for granted.”

—Author and historian David McCullough, in a lecture for the Library Foundation of Hennepin County, Minnesota’s Pen Pal series, October 12–13.

Choice November 2006 cover
Find out what keeps scholarly publishers awake at night. Read Irving Rockwood’s editorial in the November Choice.

Virtua Health, Voorhees, New Jersey. A full-time opportunity for a Medical Librarian who will plan and implement knowledge-based information services for medical and Virtua Health staffs through the library’s own collection and through a cooperating network system. This individual will also investigate new technologies for information storage and retrieval....

Joblist logo
for more career opportunities.

StoryLines America logo
If there were a prize for “farthest geographical request” for the Public Programs Office free StoryLines CDs, it would go to the U.S. Embassy in Turkmenistan. It recently requested two sets of all available StoryLines CDs, one set for its own use and another for the National Library of Turkmenistan in Ashgabat (founded in 1895, by the way).

What do YOU think?

Do you make use of library-rankings data in presenting budget proposals to your library’s funding authorities?

Click here

Results of the
November 1 poll:

Is adult or youth literacy an integral part of your library’s mission?


(88 responses)

This is an unscientific poll that reflects the opinions of only those AL Direct readers who have chosen to participate.

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

Flu season
Q. Does ALA have information on how libraries might cope with a flu pandemic? Also, how did libraries respond to the 1918 flu epidemic?
A. As yet, ALA has not prepared detailed guidelines for a pandemic response, other than as part of general disaster readiness guidelines. For more information, see the new Ask the Librarian wiki.

November 2006
AL cover
Stories inside include:

Retired and Inspired

Cooking Up Culture

Behind the Scenes at LC’s Dewey Division

Library Technology Reports Gaming issue
Avid gamer Jenny Levine has authored the latest issue of Library Technology Reports, with the theme “Gaming and Libraries: Intersection of Services.”

College & Research Libraries News November 2006 cover
Elaine Z. Jennerich describes the positive effects of the University of Washington Libraries’ staff development and training program in the November issue of College & Research Libraries News.

Dec. 1:
ACRL/NY Annual Symposium, Baruch College, New York. “Commercialization and the Academic Library.” Contact: Janet H. Clarke.

Dec. 4–5:
8th International Conference on Grey Literature, New Orleans. “Harnessing the Power of Grey.” Contact: GL8 Program and Conference Bureau, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, +31 (0)20-331-2420.

Dec. 4–7:
Search Engine Strategies Conference, Chicago. Contact: Search Engine Strategies, 203-295-0050.

Dec. 5–7:
SLA Military Librarians Division, 50th annual Military Librarians Workshop, San Antonio, Texas. “Golden Reflections and Directions.” Contact: Candy Parker, 703-767-7039.

Jan. 15–18:
Association for Library and Information Science Education,
annual conference, Seattle. “Habits of Mind and Practice: Preparing Reflective Professionals.” Contact: Kathleen Combs, 312-795-0996.

Jan. 31–Feb. 3:
Ontario Library Association,
Super Conference, Toronto. Contact: OLA, 866-873-9867.

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