November 29, 2006
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U.S. & World News
ALA News
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Seattle Update
Division News
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U.S. & World News

American Libraries tests new content management system
The American Libraries portion of the ALA website will be the first to go up with Collage, a new web content management system, to replace the software ALA has been using since 2003. Please bear with us, as the transition involves some staff training, content rearrangement, and possible instabilities in our portion of the ALA site. Other units of ALA will begin switching to the new system once we have mastered the initial uncertainties.

ALA News

Two chapters to sponsor Midwinter Advocacy Institute
The boards of the Idaho Library Association and the Oregon Library Association have agreed to cosponsor the Advocacy Institute, which will be held at the 2007 Midwinter Meeting in Seattle on January 19, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle. The Advocacy Institute is open to ALA members and nonmembers, including those who are not registered for the Midwinter Meeting....

Things Change coverYA author Patrick Jones to appear at lunch panel
Noted young adult author Patrick Jones will be part of a January 19 lunchtime panel discussion at the Midwinter Meeting’s Advocacy Institute. The discussion will focus
on how to create library advocates beginning at the school and young adult levels. Jones is the author of Things Change, a 2004 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, and a recipient of several honors including the Scholastic Library Publishing Award....

Nature Girl coverFeatured review: Adult books
Hiaasen, Carl. Nature Girl. Nov. 2006. 306p. Knopf, hardcover. (0-307-26299-5).
The trend, noticeable in Hiaasen’s last few novels, to move ever so slightly away from the apocalyptic edge is evident again in his latest screwball thriller. In fact, this one feels like a Shakespearean comedy, a mix of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and As You Like It in which a group of confused lovers tangle with a gang of “rude mechanicals” deep in the Forest of Arden. Except here Arden is one of the Ten Thousand Islands in the famous Florida wilderness area. And our heroine, playing a variation on Rosalind, is a slightly screwy gal named Honey Santana, who possesses the tragic flaw of demanding “more decency and consideration from her fellow humans than they demand of themselves.”...

Using Booklist Online for reader’s advisory
One of the Booklist Online features that has emerged as a favorite among staff and subscribers is the Keyword in Review search on the Advanced Search Page. Cindy Dobrez, middle-school librarian with West Ottawa Public Schools in Holland, Michigan, calls it “amazing”; she has used the search to compile a list of books on ethics for young adults by entering ethics as the Keyword in Review and then limiting her search by grade range....

She Reads graphicShe reads: First novels
Kaite Mediatore Stover writes: “Every autumn a host of first novelists send their beloved progeny to the Big Dance—the annual parade of new titles that storm libraries and bookstores. Among the bevy of beauties, there are always a few standouts, and following are my favorite debutante authors who came out swinging during their recent seasons.”...

Walking tour of the International DistrictSeattle walking tours
The city offers its suggestions on self-guided tours of historic districts, including Pioneer Square, Pike Place Market, and the International District....
City of Seattle

Zine Archive and Publishing Project
The Richard Hugo House Zine Archive and Publishing Project (ZAPP) exists to validate independent publications, promote the perpetuation of the zine art form, and champion freedom of speech and creative cultural evolution. Located downstairs in the Hugo House basement at 1634 11th Avenue, ZAPP collects zines, comics, chapbooks, pamphlets, journals, gazettes, city papers, fanzines, art mags, monographs, short anthologies, personal transmissions, and other not-so-easily classified independent publications for preservation and display....
Richard Hugo House

Division News

Teen Read Week bannerThousands of teens celebrate reading
YALSA has successfully completed its ninth annual Teen Read Week, “Get Active! @ your library.” Thousands of school and public libraries and bookstores celebrated the week October 15–21 by hosting an array of events that focused on the resources libraries have to help teens lead active lives and find books on sports, fitness, volunteerism, activism, college preparation, and career direction. YALSA wants your feedback on Teen Read Week activities at your library....

ACRL/SPARC program will explore public access
ACRL and the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) will explore “Public Access: Federal Research Access Policies and How They’ll Change Your Library” at their forum on emerging issues in scholarly communication to be held during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle. Speakers include David Pershing (University of Utah), Carl T. Bergstrom (University of Washington), and Ellen Finnie Duranceau (MIT)....

LAMA provides new home for LIBADMIN listserv
Effective November 13, LAMA is serving as host to the LIBADMIN listserv. This unmoderated list, formerly hosted at the University of Maryland at Baltimore, is open to anyone interested in discussing trends and happenings in the library leadership, administration, and related fields....

AASL Future Begins logoThomson Gale sponsors opening session at AASL conference
The Opening General Session of the AASL 13th National Conference and Exhibition in Reno, Nevada, October 25–28, 2007, will be sponsored by Thomson Gale. The conference theme is “The future begins @ your library” and will feature five preconference workshops, more than 100 concurrent sessions, over 200 exhibiting companies, school and educational tours, and special appearances by award-winning children’s and young adult authors....

Seen Online

Nuclear plant info available in public libraries
How long would it take terrorists to penetrate security barriers outside nuclear facilities? What are the most vulnerable parts of a nuclear plant to attack in order to inflict maximum damage? Finding the answers to those questions, as NBC news investigators found out, is as easy as walking into a public library, finding the right files, printing them out, and walking away with the documents in hand, no questions asked....
NBC News, Nov. 27

Digital Millenium Copyright Act exemptions approved
Film professors now have the right to copy snippets from DVDs for educational compilations, the U.S. Copyright Office said November 22. Other rights declared in the Library of Congress’s triennial review of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act seek to improve access for the blind and to obsolete works, and let security researchers try to break copy-protection technologies embedded in CDs....

Associated Press, Nov. 22

Alice in WonderlandYale’s Lewis Carroll letter ends up on Ebay
A letter Lewis Carroll wrote to a friend in 1890 has taken police down a rabbit hole into the world of Ebay.
After a friend spotted the letter on the internet, a librarian at Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library checked the stacks. Sure enough, Carroll’s letter, addressed to “My Dear Winnie,” was missing.....
Hartford (Conn.) Courant, Nov. 26

Bush presidential library to be funded by megadonations
Eager to begin refurbishing his tattered legacy, the President hopes to raise $500 million to build the Bush presidential library and a think tank at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Bush sources with direct knowledge of library plans said that SMU and Bush fundraisers hope to get half of the half billion from what they call “megadonations” of $10 million to $20 million....
New York Daily News, Nov. 27

House bill would shed light on presidential library donors
Should Democrats pass a new ethics law, President Bush may want to read the fine print before signing it. A little-noticed section in one 80-page version could make it more difficult to raise money for presidential libraries. HR 4682 requires the organization that raises money for a presidential library to disclose donors to Congress four times a year....
The Hill, Nov. 29

Muskegon library chief fired over fiscal issues
The Muskegon (Mich.) Area District Library Board’s decision to fire longtime Director Elizabeth Winsche in mid-November was a matter of dollars and cents, said Theron Wierenga, the former chairman of the board. Winsche wanted to maintain the same salaries and benefits for 13 district library employees that they enjoyed as county employees, and believed a clause in an agreement between the district library and county supported her position....
Muskegon (Mich.) Chronicle, Nov. 28

German library worker allegedly took rare books
A mysterious gap in a dusty bookshelf gave the game away for a corrupt library worker who stole more than €800,000 ($1.05 million) of antique tomes from Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen, Germany. Now the trial of Reinhold K (he cannot be named before the hearing), who allegedly slipped 16th-century botanical works under his long black coat, is set to expose the lucrative world of library theft....
London Times, Nov. 24

Burglaries shut down Antigua’s public library
A recent spate of break-ins and thefts at the Caribbean country’s public library on Market Street in downtown St. John’s has forced its closure, putting hundreds of students and other users at a severe disadvantage. The Antigua Sun contacted Chief Librarian Dorothea Nelson, who confirmed that the library was being closed for an indefinite period.....
Antigua Sun, Nov. 23

cellphoneUMass now caters to cell phones and chicken wings
To its 3 million volumes of books, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s W. E. B. Du Bois Library has added more features: a café, a lounge, and cell-phone isolation booths. With students opting to conduct research by mouse click, the library is on an outreach offensive, shelving once-forbidding rules and replacing an old circulation counter with a coffee bar, where hot drinks and soda are for sale and an assortment of pastries are on display behind the counter. Chicken wing deliveries are allowed, along with other previously banned activities, like cell-phone chatter....
Boston Globe, Nov. 25

Library pulls internet access due to porn websites
Public internet access at the Mount Clemens (Mich.) Public Library has been revoked because of an increase in the number of people looking at sexually explicit material. The plug was pulled on the computers earlier in November after employees noticed a large increase in visitors using the free internet service to access what the library termed obscene material in violation of library policies....
Macomb (Mich.) Daily, Nov. 27

Green Eggs and HamDr. Seuss publisher dies at 90
Writer and actress Phyllis Cerf Wagner, who published many books by children’s author Dr. Seuss, died at a New York hospital November 24. The pair collaborated on books such as The Cat in the Hat Comes Back and Green Eggs and Ham after Wagner founded the Beginner Books imprint at Random House....
BBC News, Nov. 27

Tech Talk

Goodbye, Google Answers
Google is shutting down its Google Answers service. The company has announced that new questions won’t be accepted after the New Year, though the site will continue to let people view the question archives. Killing off the service, which never seemed to catch on much, certainly will help Google seem like it is focusing efforts toward more needed areas. But it still feels like an odd, almost surrendering move in the face of Yahoo Answers being such a success....
Search Engine Watch, Nov. 29

Wayback Machine logoArchiving websites
The internet generally has complete disregard for keeping records or charting its past. Once a website is gone, it seems to disappear into the digital ether. But with its “Wayback Machine,” seeks to bring posterity to the Web by archiving websites. A message on its website says that with the large amount of public records and information moving online, internet libraries have become necessary to maintain the public’s “right to remember.”...
Associated Press, Nov. 21

InfoIsland area in Cybrary CitySetting up library areas in Second Life’s Cybrary City
Puzzled about libraries in the online interactive gamescape Second Life? The mayor of Cybrary City, Paul Miller of Talis, will officially welcome Cybrary City residents and other interested librarians on Wednesday, December 6, at 2:30 p.m. SL time (4:30 Central, 5:30 Eastern). The welcome will be held on the plaza in front of the new conference center. Newcomers to Second Life can check out Business Week’s Second Life tip sheet....
InfoIsland blog, Nov. 28; Business Week, Nov. 27

Houghton Mifflin bought by Irish firm
Houghton Mifflin Co., publisher of the Curious George series of children’s books and the American Heritage Dictionary, will be sold for $1.75 billion to Riverdeep Holdings Plc, an Irish maker of educational software. The Boston-based textbook publisher will be combined with Riverdeep into a new Dublin-based company controlled by former Credit Suisse Group banker Barry O’Callaghan, the companies said in a November 29 statement....
Bloomberg, Nov. 29

John Wiley logoWiley acquires Blackwell Publishing
In a deal valued at over $1 billion, John Wiley and Sons has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the outstanding shares of Blackwell Publishing (Holdings), Ltd. (Blackwell, Ltd., the library book vendor and retailer, remains a separate entity and is not part of the acquisition.) The two companies’ 2005 revenues combined were roughly $750 million. Rene Olivieri, CEO of Blackwell Publishing, and Wiley’s Steve Smith, senior vice president of international development and director of professional/trade publishing in Europe, will co-officiate the marriage of the two scholarly publishers with a combined output of over 1,250 peer-reviewed journals, as well as a broad collection of books....
Hectic Pace blog, Nov. 29

LexisNexis developer dies
H. Donald Wilson, 82, under whose leadership the commercial database service LexisNexis introduced electronic research to law firms and news organizations, died of a heart attack November 12 in front of his computer at his home in Mitchellville, Maryland. From 1969 to 1973, Wilson was the first president of Mead Data Central, which developed LexisNexis, a database of information for law firms, businesses, libraries, and the news industry....
Washington Post, Nov. 25

Actions and Answers

Woman recalls segregation and library card denial
On a hot summer day in August 1964, a group of students took a bus downtown to the Hattiesburg (Miss.) Public Library. The library, like most other institutions, was segregated. The group of six were students at Hattiesburg’s Freedom School, said resident Jimella Stokes Jackson, 58. When the group arrived, the black students—the group’s freedom teacher, a white woman, had accompanied them—approached the desk and asked to apply for library cards. “Of course they said we can’t give you cards,” Jackson said. “I said, who told you we can’t use it?”...
Hattiesburg (Miss.) American, Nov. 26

George Washington's signatureHistoric papers found at Marietta College
As Special Collections Associate Linda Showalter prepared approximately 50,000 books and 100 pieces of artwork from the Dawes Memorial Library at Marietta College for shipment to a storage facility in Massachusetts, she made an exceptional rediscovery—two Ohio Company purchase deeds that include the signatures of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. The college’s special collections are being relocated in advance of the May 2007 razing of Dawes and the start of construction on a new library and learning center....
Marietta (Ohio) College, Nov. 14

Social-networking sites confound schools
Only 35% of the educators, administrators, and school board members who registered for the National School Boards Association’s annual Technology + Learning (T+L) Conference and responded to a survey given before the event was held in Dallas said their districts had policies to address the use of social-networking sites like MySpace and Facebook by their students. Half said their districts had no such policies, and 15% weren’t sure....
eSchool News, Nov. 20

AACR revision committee meeting
The Joint Steering Committee for Revision of AACR met in Washington, D.C., October 16–20 and discussed concerns expressed by ALA on the Resource Description and Access development process, issues relating to carrier description, and responses to the drafts of chapters 6 (Related resources) and 7 (Persons, families, and corporate bodies associated with a resource)....
Joint Steering Committee for Revision of Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules

Share your public access stories
The MaintainIT project, a three-year effort run by TechSoup, a technology resource for nonprofit organizations, wants to hear stories about how libraries maintain public access computers and internet services for their communities. By collecting best practices on the topic, the Share Your Story about PACs campaign will distill the information into a series of free how-to guides tailored to the technical support needs of different types of public libraries. MaintainIT would like to hear from small, rural libraries by December 15....
MaintainIT Project

Arlington Heights Memorial Library videoVideo demonstrates virtual reference
Bill Pardue, virtual services librarian at Arlington Heights (Ill.) Memorial Library, demonstrates his library’s virtual reference capabilities in a short instructional video (4:58) that also features Sarah Ann Long as interviewer. Pardue describes e-mail and live chat reference, then shows an example of an instant-message reference transaction....

Sponsor: Sirsi Dynix

Seattle Midwinter logo
Seattle offers numerous bus lines in the downtown area, near the convention center.

Whole Library Handbook 4 cover
The Whole Library Handbook 4, edited by George M. Eberhart (ALA Editions, 2006): “Everything you need to know about book banning, blogging, diversity, library operations, and funding is covered in clear language, often with humor and a light touch.”—College & Research Libraries News

DHL membership ad

Hoiberg: We stand behind our process, based on trained editors and fact-checkers, more than 4,000 experts, and sound writing. Our model works well. Wikipedia is very different, but nothing in their model suggests we should change what we do.
Wales: Fitting words for an epitaph....”

Britannica editor-in-chief Dale Hoiberg and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales in a debate titled “Will Wikipedia Mean the End of Traditional Encyclopedias?” Wall Street Journal, Sept. 12 .

ACRL Baltimore Conference logo
The ACRL 13th National Conference, March 29–April 1, 2007, offers more than 250 peer-reviewed programs in six session formats including contributed papers, panel sessions, poster sessions, preconferences, roundtable discussions, and workshops.

Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. Position contributes to the growth, organization, interpretation, and conservation of rare book and manuscript collections in a broad range of subject areas. Identifies, selects, solicits, and acquires by purchase and gift a broad range of materials. Develops, maintains, and implements collecting policies....

Joblist logo
for more career opportunities.

Bridging Boundaries logo
In 2001, ALA’s Office for Diversity commissioned a longitudinal study of the Spectrum Scholarship program. A voluntary survey was distributed in electronic and print formats in May 2004 to the first six Spectrum cohorts, years 1998 to 2003. The Bridging Boundaries report represents the first published survey on the progress of ALA’s national diversity and recruitment effort designed to address the specific issue of underrepresentation of critically needed ethnic librarians within the profession.

Results of the
November 22 poll:

Does the decision by HarperCollins to cancel publication of O.J. Simpson’s book If I Did It constitute censorship?


(265 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.

Ask the ALA LibrarianStudents and books image
Q. My school principal wants me to justify my budget request by citing the ALA standard for the number of books per pupil the school library should have. Where is this?

A. Neither ALA nor AASL sets prescriptive standards for school libraries, including number of books per student. Instead, we advocate an outcomes-based assessment process initially set forth in 1998, in Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning. See the ALA Professional Tips wiki.

November 2006
AL cover
Stories inside include:

Retired and Inspired

Cooking Up Culture

Behind the Scenes at LC’s Dewey Division

ALA Courses

Dec. 11–12:
Metadata and Digital Library Development Chicago. Offered by ALCTS and the Library of Congress. Contact: Julie Reese, 800-545-2433, ext. 5034.

Jan. 8–
Feb. 3:

Designing Websites for Academic Libraries, Part 2. Online course offered by ACRL.

Jan. 18–19:
LAMA Midwinter Institute, “The Complex Edifice: Analyzing Your Dream Library.”

Jan. 19:
AASL Pre-Midwinter Institute, “Reading and the School Library Media Specialist.”

Jan. 19:
LITA Midwinter Institute, “Podcast U: Libraries, Podcasting, and the New Culture of Personal Broadcasting on Campus.”

Jan. 19:
RUSA Midwinter Institutes, “Behind the Genealogy Reference Desk: Want Land, Will Travel” and “Business Librarianship 101: Core Competencies for Business Librarianship.”

Mar. 1–3:
PLA Spring Symposium, Fairmont San Jose, California. “Sailing into the Future: Charting Our Destiny.” Contact: Louisa Worthington, 800-545-2433, ext. 5024.

More Datebook items...


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