Referenda Roundup 2006 (PDF file)
Voters throughout the U.S. showed strong support for their libraries this year. American Libraries’ state-by-state roundup of library referenda and other local ballot measures throughout the year is based on reports from state library agencies and online news sources....
American Libraries 37, no. 11 (Dec.): 17–25
Student Tasered by police in UCLA library
A University of California at Los Angeles student was repeatedly stunned with an electronic Taser by campus police officers November 14 at the UCLA Powell Library. The incident, which was partly captured on video by another student and posted on YouTube, has much of the community wondering if the officers used excessive force. Mostafa Tabatabainejad, 23, was in a library computer lab around 11:30 p.m. when a community service officer asked for his campus ID as part of the library’s policy....
ACLU sues Washington library district over filtering
Three individuals and the Second Amendment Foundation, a pro-firearm nonprofit group, have engaged the American Civil Liberties Union to represent them in a lawsuit against the internet filtering policy of the North Central Regional Library, headquartered in Wenatchee, Washington. The challenge centers on NCRL’s use of Secure Computing’s Bess censorware on all its public computers, which the plaintiffs allege has blocked them from viewing constitutionally protected websites....
Boston Public Library still missing some rare maps
Although it has recovered 34 antique maps that were stolen by convicted map thief E. Forbes Smiley III, the Boston Public Library reports that some of its cartographic treasures are still missing. The 36 maps the library is still looking for were all used by Smiley in recent years, BPL Curator of Maps Ronald Grim said in the November 15 Boston Globe. The British Library, as well as Harvard and other institutions affected by Smiley’s thefts, suspect that he is responsible for more missing maps than he’s admitted to....
Man shot near circulation desk in Chicago
A 20-year-old man was shot in the shoulder November 15 at Chicago Public Library’s Marshall Square branch while he stood near the circulation counter. Chicago Police Officer Kelly Liakopoulos said in the November 15 Chicago Tribune that the assailant opened the library door and fired one shot at the victim. The wounded individual was taken to a nearby hospital and reported to be in good condition....
Oprah to showcase ALA Read/Listen posters
The Oprah Show airing Tuesday, November 28, will showcase the latest ALA Read and Listen posters from Dakota Fanning and Cedric the Entertainer. In her latest picture, Charlotte’s Web, to be released December 15, Fanning plays the coveted role of Fern. Her costars include Oprah, Julia Roberts, Cedric the Entertainer, and Robert Redford....
Survey of public library funding and technology access
ALA, with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is collaborating with the Information Use Management and Policy Institute in the College of Information at Florida State University to conduct a national survey of public libraries about their internet connectivity, computing resources, and related funding. The 2006 survey focuses on the impacts, benefits, and challenges of public computing and internet access services in public libraries....
Lewis and Clark on the road again
The ALA Public Programs Office, in cooperation with the Newberry Library, is accepting grant applications from public, academic, and special libraries wishing to host the traveling exhibition, “Lewis and Clark and the Indian Country.” Applications must be received by February 9. The program is based on a major exhibition of the same title, which was on display at the Newberry Library from September 28, 2005, through January 14, 2006, and focuses on the encounters of Native Americans with the United States Corps of Discovery between 1804 and 1806....
Host Ben Franklin @ your library
The ALA Public Programs Office, in collaboration with the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary in Philadelphia, is accepting grant applications from libraries wishing to host the traveling exhibition, “Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World.” The program is based on a major exhibition of the same title, which was on display at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia until April 30. Applications are due by February 9....
Library Legislative Day Student Contest winner
The ALA Washington Office and YALSA have selected Danny Chapman, of Lake Forest, Illinois, as the winner of the National Library Legislative Day 2007 Student Contest. For his winning entry—entitled “Check Out the Future”—Danny has won a free trip to the 33rd Annual National Library Legislative Day, which will be held in Washington, D.C., May 1 and 2, 2007. He will be visiting his Members of Congress with the delegation from the Illinois Library Association....
State library e-rate coordinators convene in Virginia
Thanks to a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, ALA’s Office of Information Technology Policy has begun an effort to increase library participation in the federal e-rate program. Its first activity in this project was a training session for state library e-rate coordinators that took place November 7–9 in Herndon, Virginia. These coordinators provide training, help applicants make their way through the program, and advocate for e-rate at the state and local level....
District Dispatch blog, Nov. 16
Odekon, Mehmet (editor). Encyclopedia of World Poverty. Nov. 2006. 941p. Sage, hardcover. (1-4129-1807-3).
Using one encyclopedia to approach the topic of poverty on a global scale is an unusual but effective plan. It provides a format for including all the disciplines that have to do with the study of poverty—economics, political science, sociology, and more—but with one focus. Though the topic is huge, by having the information presented in this way, researchers can do comparisons from a cross-cultural aspect that might otherwise be difficult....
Seattle residents’ suggestions on what to see
The Seattle Times asked its readers to recommend what visitors to the city should see and experience. Here are their favorite places, from the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park to the Archie McPhee novelty store....
Seattle Times, May 25
ALCTS celebrates 50th anniversary
ALCTS is planning a stellar lineup of events to showcase its 50th anniversary celebration, “Commemorating our Past, Celebrating our Present, Creating our Future.” Highlights include a Midwinter anniversary year kickoff reception, the ALCTS National Conference in Washington, D.C., a gala dinner cruise, and the ALA Annual Conference President’s Program featuring Peter Morville, author of Ambient Findability and president of Semantic Studios....
LAMA leads the way with a new blog
The LEADS from LAMA blog replaces the electronic newsletter of the same name from the Library Administration and Management Association. The blog will feature news and information about LAMA, ALA, and other organizations of interest to LAMA members....
National Book Awards winners announced
Richard Powers’s The Echo Maker and Timothy Egan’s The Worst Hard Time won National Book Awards for fictional and historical portrayals of life in the American Midwest. The Echo Maker (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), a novel set in the small town of Kearney, Nebraska, won the fiction prize at the 57th version of the awards November 15 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York. The Worst Hard Time (Houghton Mifflin), a history of the Dust Bowl that turned America’s heartland into a barren waste during the Great Depression, won for nonfiction....
Bloomberg News, Nov. 16
Nominations sought for Kilgour award
Nominations are invited for the 2007 Frederick G. Kilgour Award for Research in Library and Information Technology, sponsored by OCLC and LITA. The deadline is December 31. The Kilgour Award honors research relevant to the development of information technologies, especially work which shows promise of having a positive and substantive impact on any aspect of the publication, storage, retrieval, and dissemination of information....
ALA-APA/SirsiDynix award deadline extended
Nominations for the $5,000 ALA-APA/SirsiDynix Award for Outstanding Achievement in Promoting Salaries and Status for Library Workers will be accepted through December 15. Nominees may be individuals or organizations that have made a positive change in the salaries or status of librarians or support staff....
Humphry award for international librarianship
ALA is accepting nominations for the 2007 John Ames Humphry/ OCLC/Forest Press Award for International Librarianship. The award is given to an individual who has made significant contributions to international librarianship. The award consists of a prize of $1,000 and a certificate. The deadline is January 1....
Nominations for international travel fund
ALA is accepting nominations for the 2007 Bogle Pratt International Travel Fund, sponsored by the Bogle Memorial Fund and the Pratt Institute School of Information and Library Science. An award of $1,000 is given to an ALA member to attend their first international conference. The deadline is January 1....
LITA scholarships available
Applications are being accepted for three LITA scholarships: the Christian Larew Memorial Scholarship (sponsored by Informata.com) for $3,000, the LSSI Minority Scholarship for $2,500, and the OCLC Minority Scholarship for $3,000. Applications must be postmarked no later than March 1....
SLA Illinois Student Travel Stipend
The Illinois Chapter of the Special Libraries Association is offering a student stipend award to help cover expenses for the 2007 SLA Annual Conference in Denver. The chapter will select one student from an Illinois LIS program to receive a $1,000 award....
Howell Carnegie Library is 100 years old
A century after its opening on November 19, 1906, the Howell (Mich.) Carnegie District Library stands as one of 26 Carnegie libraries in the United States still being used as a library. Howell Library Director Kathleen Zaenger said the community is aware of the gem it has in the center of downtown, judging by its 419,474-item circulation last year....
Detroit News, Nov. 16
UCLA Taser officer has history of complaints
The UCLA police officer videotaped November 14 using a Taser gun on a student also shot a homeless man at a campus study hall room three years ago and was earlier recommended for dismissal in connection with an alleged assault on fraternity row, authorities said. UCLA police confirmed late Monday that the officer who fired the Taser gun was Terrence Duren, who has served in the university’s Police Department for 18 years....
Los Angeles Times, Nov. 21
New York Public Library officials’ pay
Over the past three years, NYPL’s financial tribulations were not reflected in at least one significant way—the compensation received by some of the institution’s top officers. The library’s most recent federal tax filing shows that the total compensation for Paul LeClerc, the library’s president and chief executive, had increased to more than $800,000, a jump of more than $221,000 from just a year earlier. During 2005, the library also hired three officers who were paid substantially more than the people they replaced....
New York Times, Nov. 18
Iowa First Lady visits 500 libraries
Christie Vilsack, wife of outgoing Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, visited the Davenport Public Library November 14 and reached her goal that same day of visiting 500 Iowa libraries during her tenure as first lady. She’s been busily visiting libraries over the last seven years to raise awareness for literacy and the important part that libraries can play in families’ lives....
Davenport (Iowa) Quad City Times, Nov. 16
Professors get F in copyright protection
Book publishers say professors who post long excerpts of protected texts on the internet without permission cost the industry at least $20 million a year. Cornell University agreed in September to regulate work its faculty puts on the Web, in response to a threatened lawsuit from the Association of American Publishers. College libraries used to hold hard copies of a book in reserve to provide access to students in a particular course; now, electronic reserves let the library scan and post parts of works on an internal website for students using pass codes that expire at the course’s end....
Bloomberg News, Nov. 20
Claim: EPA hastily disposing of library materials
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is frantically dispersing its library collections to preempt congressional intervention, according to internal e-mails released November 20 by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. Contrary to promises by EPA Deputy Administrator Marcus Peacock that all of the former library materials will be made available electronically, vast troves of unique technical reports and analyses will remain indefinitely inaccessible....
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, Nov. 20
Librarian files age-discrimination lawsuit
A Michigan librarian has filed a lawsuit alleging she was pushed aside to make room for a younger employee and then was denied health insurance benefits provided to other former workers. In her lawsuit filed in Oakland Circuit Court, Patience Beer, 62, said she had planned to retire in October 2005 from her job as adult services librarian at the Independence Township Library in Clarkston but was asked to stay on as acting library director. But in February 2006, she was informed via e-mail that another woman, in her 30s and not employed by the township, had been selected as the new library director....
Detroit News, Nov. 17
Librarians “should be sexier”
Alex Aiken, head of communications for Westminster City Council in London, England, told a conference of Public Library Authorities recently that libraries should spice up their reputation by using “good-looking” staff for media and marketing work and by stressing their range of “racy” titles. He added: “The concept of the librarian has to change and perhaps a start would be to abolish the title itself, with its connotations of middle-aged conservatism.”...
This Is London, Nov. 16
Ex Libris and Endeavor merge
Francisco Partners, the company that bought Ex Libris Corporation this year, announced November 21 (PDF file) that it will also purchase Endeavor Information Systems from Reed Elsevier. The two companies will be merged and run under the Ex Libris name and senior management, led by Matti Shem Tov. With a combined install base of over 2,200 libraries, the merged company will still be second in size to (the also recently combined) SirsiDynix, but a closer second; Innovative Interfaces now takes a more distant third position in the academic, public, and special library automation sector. Financial details of the merger have not been made public at this time....
Hectic Pace blog, Nov. 21
The Digital Ice Age
The threat of lost or corrupted data faces anyone who relies on digital media to store documents—and these days, that’s practically everyone. Digital information is so simple to create and store, we naturally think it will be easily and accurately preserved for the future. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, our digital information—everything from photos of loved ones to diagrams of Navy ships—is at risk of degrading, becoming unreadable or disappearing altogether....
Popular Mechanics, December
Cracking the code of IM slang
For parents of teens, three-letter acronyms like PAW, MOS, and CD9 might be more disturbing than the old four-letter words. Librarians may need to decipher them too. Stefanie Olsen describes the tools that can translate the instant messaging chatter, from NoSlang.com and Teenangels.org to Teenchatdecoder.com....
C|net news, Nov. 14
Bookstore road trip: New York and Los Angeles
Bookstore tourism promoter Larry Portzline takes busloads of bibliophiles on tours of independent bookshops in New York’s Greenwich Village (6:36) and in the beach towns of the Los Angeles area (7:13). These two videos capture the experience and feature interviews with participating bookstore owners, booklovers, and the real-life “Gidget,” Kathy Kohner-Zuckerman (above, at the Diesel bookstore in Malibu)....
Bookstore Tourism blog, Nov. 17
Ian Fleming collectibles
The big screen blockbuster of Casino Royale sees 007 new boy Daniel Craig gambling at the French Riviera’s baccarat tables, but you would need to truly break the bank to afford an original first edition of many of Ian Fleming’s James Bond books. He wrote 13 Bond novels, starting with Casino Royale in 1953 and ending with Octopussy and the Living Daylights in 1966, and all first editions are highly desirable and quite elusive, much like 007 himself....
25 greatest science books of all time
The editors of Discover magazine have identified the 25 most influential books ever written. At the top of the list, tied for first place, are Darwin’s The Voyage of the Beagle (1845) and The Origin of Species (1859). The oldest is Aristotle’s Physics (ca. 330 B.C.E.), and the most recent is The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sacks (1985)....
Discover 27, no. 12 (Dec.)
LC’s Directorate of Legal Research
Michael Ravnitzky writes about a little-known office in the Library of Congress: “Despite harsh criticism of the citation of foreign law in American court decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court and the federal appellate courts solicit and are supplied with numerous studies surveying foreign law each year, according to the Library of Congress’s annual reports. The source of this scholarship is the talented staff of the Directorate of Legal Research, a little-known but well-regarded and highly influential research department contained within the Library of Congress. DLR is a sister organization to the better-known Congressional Research Service. The Directorate of Legal Research receives scant mention even among the legal research community.”...
LLRX, Nov. 12
Tracked in America
Tracked in America: Stories from the History of U.S. Government Surveillance, a recently launched online documentary website, examines the history of surveillance in America. Featured on the site are 300 photographs, the personal stories of 25 individuals affected by surveillance, and commentary by six historians who chronicle dissent in America from 1798 to today....
Tracked in America
National Library of Egypt and LC launch digital project
The Library of Congress and the National Library and Archives of Egypt announced a significant milestone in their cooperation on digital initiatives with the opening on November 15 of a state-of-the-art digitization center at the National Library in Cairo. The equipment for the center has been provided by the Library of Congress to the National Library to enable it to digitize rare and unique materials in its collections and make them accessible on the internet....
Library of Congress, Nov. 16
Investigate the possibilities at the library
McCracken County Public Library in Paducah, Kentucky, put together this video (1:44) to promote its library services. Featuring a wisecracking, noirish private investigator (“A library card? Could it really be that simple?”), “Investigate the Possibilities” features Video Producer Tom Prigge and Adult Services Assistant Jennifer McCann....
A basic schedule of meetings at the Midwinter Meeting is available online.
A new Cedric the Entertainer Listen Up @ your library poster is available from ALA Graphics. Inspire your patrons to take advantage of the audio collection at your library with this dynamic new Listen poster.
Final registration deadline for the PLA Spring Symposium in San Jose is January 26.
I was in the Mary Dow Reading Room of the Park Library [at Central Michigan University] yesterday. Two female students came in behind me. The one says to the other, ‘And in this room, the library keeps printed out web pages.’ It took me a moment to grasp what she had meant by such an odd remark. And then it dawned on me. She was used to getting her periodicals online. She had been doing this probably since she was in middle school.”
Michael Lorenzen, The Information Literacy Land of Confusion blog, Nov. 10.
Humboldt County Public Library, Eureka, California. As a county department head the county librarian oversees the main library, 10 branches, and a bookmobile. Responsibilities include the preparation of the annual budget, supervision of library staff, and meeting with community groups and volunteer organizations regarding library programs and services....
for more career opportunities.
In Raymond Briggs’s The Snowman, a wintry hero comes to life and takes a young boy on an unforgettable adventure. Get the poster and bookmark at the ALA Store.
do YOU think?
Does the decision by HarperCollins to cancel publication of O.J. Simpson's book If I Did It constitute censorship?
November 15 poll:
Has your library had requests from law enforcement to install “sniffer” software on your internet server to collect data through words or phrases that indicate illegal activities?
is an unscientific poll that reflects the opinions of only
those AL Direct readers who have chosen to participate.
cumulated results and selected responses to AL Direct
polls, visit the AL Online website.
Ask the ALA Librarian
Q. Are we able to use music CDs in our collection to broadcast background sound that would distract patrons from complaining about other noises? Or do we need to pay for satellite radio or commercially available piped-in music to avoid copyright infringement?
A. The short answer is no, you will need to obtain your music from a source that pays the public performance license, or use the very limited amount of public domain recorded music. See the ALA Professional Tips wiki.
Got a question? Send it to Ask the ALA Librarian.
Stories inside include:
Retired and Inspired
Cooking Up Culture
Behind the Scenes at LC’s Dewey Division
International Conference on Technology, Knowledge and Society, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK. Contact: conference secretariat, +61-0-29-519-0303.
Metadata and Digital Library Development, an ALCTS and Library of Congress Workshop, University of Washington, Seattle. Contact: Julie Reese, 312-280-5034.
International Conference on Cataloging, Grand Hotel, Reykjavík, Iceland. “Back to Basics—And Flying into the Future.” Contact: Kristjana Magnúsdóttir, +354-585-3900.
Transborder Library Forum, hosted by Arizona State University Libraries, Tempe, Arizona. “Bridging the Digital Divide: Crossing All Borders.” Contact: Foro 2007.
Alaska Library Association Annual Conference, Centennial Hall, Juneau. “Libraries: The Umbrella of the Community.” Contact: Amelia Jenkins.
McConnell Youth Literature Conference, Embassy Suites Hotel, Lexington, Kentucky. “In Celebration of Anne McConnell.” Contact: Lousetta Carlson, 859-257-8876.
Louisiana Library Association Annual Conference, Holiday Inn Select, Baton Rouge. “Louisiana Libraries: Bridging Communities.” Contact: LLA.
Association of Architecture School Librarians Annual Meeting, Philadelphia. Contact: Martin Aurand, 412-268-8165.
New Mexico Library Association
/Mountain Plains Library Association Joint Conference, Albuquerque Convention Center. “Libraries: Launching the Future.” Contact: Louise Hoffmann.
Kansas Library Association /Kansas Association of School Librarians /Kansas Association for Educational Communications and Technology
Tri-Conference, Capitol Plaza and Kansas ExpoCentre, Topeka. Contact: Helen Rigdon, 620-251-1370.
Oregon Library Association Annual Conference, Oregon State University, Corvallis. “Finding Community: Civics, Cyberspace, and Change.” Contact: Lynne Mildenstein, 541-617-7061.
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