Patriot Act challenge allowed to proceed
Almost three years after initial arguments were presented, a federal judge in Detroit has refused the government’s request to dismiss a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union challenging the constitutionality of the USA Patriot Act. The lawsuit, filed July 30, 2003, was the first legal challenge to the controversial antiterrorism act passed by Congress after the September 11 attacks....
Harry Potter challenger appeals to Georgia state board
The parent who unsuccessfully sought the removal of the Harry Potter series from the Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Schools’ libraries appealed to the state Board of Education October 3. Laura Mallory told a hearing officer for the state board that the books promote witchcraft, citing studies showing that some children who have read them have attempted to cast spells or have become interested in Wicca....
Graphic novels draw challenge in Missouri
A crowd of concerned citizens filled to overflowing the Marshall (Mo.) City Council chamber to discuss local resident Louise Mills’s challenge of two graphic-novel titles in the Marshall Public Library collection: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel and Blankets by Craig Thompson. Mills told the library board, which called the October 4 meeting, of her concern over sexually explicit drawings in the two coming-of-age books....
Design contractor settles with Indianapolis library
The architectural firm responsible for the design of the Indianapolis–Marion County Public Library’s expansion project agreed October 4 to pay trustees $580,000 and testify against other contractors the library has sued over construction delays and cost overruns. The settlement by Woollen Molzan and Partners marks the library’s first successful legal action in the ongoing litigation....
Worcester homeless advocates persist in library lawsuit
Despite Worcester (Mass.) Public Library’s decision to alter its circulation policy to accommodate residents living in homeless shelters, an advocacy group that filed a lawsuit against the library in July says further changes are needed. Jonathan Mannina, executive director of the Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Massachusetts, said the new policy was a “positive development” but not yet perfect....
A naked display of emotion over library closings
The Friends of the Kingsteignton Library in Devon, England, are taking the threatened closure of one of 12 underused libraries by the county council seriously enough to engage in a nude protest. Local library lovers—among them several councilors at the district and parish levels—have been demonstrating against the closing of the library, rain or shine, since February. But last summer, chanting “Don’t strip us of our library,” the group staged a nude indoor protest behind a shelf of large-print books....
Membership looks a bit younger (PDF file)
A recent analysis of ALA member demographic responses indicates a slight shift in respondents to members under 35 years of age (slightly above 30%). Census estimates for the library profession in 2000 indicated workers were
clustering in the mid-to-upper age ranges, but ALA members responding to the
demographic survey as of September 2006 are clustering in the lower age
ALA Office of Research and Statistics
ALA promotes online voter registration
In a joint effort to make registering to vote easier and more convenient for eligible Americans, ALA is participating in GoVote, a project of Working Assets and Mobile Voter. Throughout the 2006 national election season, ALA will host on its website a link to the GoVote.org initiative, where individuals can click to register to vote or update their voter registration information....
Calloway goes the extra mile for Spectrum Scholarship
After taking a year off due to injuries, ALA Associate Executive Director of Finance Gregory Calloway will be running in the Chicago Marathon for the fourth time—and once again will raise funds for the ALA Spectrum Scholarship Program. The Spectrum Scholarship Program’s focus on the under-representation of critically needed ethnic and racial minority library and information science professionals is something that hits close to home, he says....
review: Books for youth
Jenkins, Emily. Toys Go Out: Being the Adventures of a Knowledgeable StingRay, a Toughy Little Buffalo, and Someone Called Plastic. Illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky. Oct. 2006. 128p. Random/Schwartz & Wade, hardcover. Grades 1–3. (0-375-83604-7).
For beginning chapter-book readers, this secret-lives-of-toys story will entertain, inspire, and comfort as it relates the experiences of three engaging toy best friends: Lumphy the buffalo, plush StingRay, and Plastic. In six interconnected chapters, the distinctly drawn characters face concerns and situations kids will respond to: shy Lumphy’s fear of the washing machine and having a bath; gentle Plastic’s identity crisis; and know-it-all StingRay’s embarrassing bathtub comeuppance, which ends happily with reassurances of her friends’ love....
Sucking up to librarians
Keir Graff writes: “I finished reading Ian Sansom’s The Case of the Missing Books yesterday. It’s (ahem) bloody hilarious. And—sorry, Nancy Pearl—librarians have a new superhero. Well, not exactly a superhero. But a hero. After a fashion. Not so much a hero as a figurehead. But not that he’s representative of librarians. More of a mascot, really. But not a mascot that would look good on a gym wall or a uniform.”...
Likely Stories blog, Oct. 6
For your reading pleasure
Located in the heart of the historic Pioneer Square District, Seattle’s original business neighborhood, the Elliott Bay Book Company is home to over 150,000 new, used, and rare titles, set on cedar shelves in a series of inviting, exposed-brick walled rooms. An independent, family-owned bookstore, Elliott Bay was founded in 1973 by Walter Carr in the space which currently houses the children’s section. They offer a 20% librarians’ discount on books, so take your conference badge or business card....
Elliott Bay Book Company
Non-English access report available for comment
ALCTS has published a report (PDF file) on access to non-English materials in libraries, with recommendations for specific actions libraries can take on technical specifications, cataloging guidelines, continuing education, communication, and staffing. If you are interested in commenting on the findings in the report, a form is available on the website....
Teen Read Week approaches
YALSA’s Teen Read Week (October 15–21) is a great time to let the young adults in your community know that the library can be a fun place and, better yet, that reading can be fun. It is also a time for the young adult services to step to the forefront of your library and show the rest of the community what you do....
Alternative Teen Services, Oct. 3
ACRL opens registration for 13th National Conference in Baltimore
ACRL has opened registration for its 13th National Conference, “Sailing into the Future: Charting Our Destiny,” to be held in Baltimore, Maryland, March 29–April 1, 2007. Registration and hotel reservations are available now online. Keynote speakers include Michael Eric Dyson, John Waters (right), and Nina Totenberg....
2005 Academic Library Trends and Statistics
ACRL has published the 2005 Academic Library Trends and Statistics series, available both online and in print. This survey includes comprehensive data from 1,100 academic libraries in all Carnegie classifications. It covers collections, expenditures, electronic expenditures, personnel, and public services (including Ph.D.s granted, number of faculty, undergraduate, and graduate enrollment)....
Training student employees on intellectual freedom (PDF file)
Kate Laughlin and Mary Ross of the Seattle Public Library explain how they train all their employees—from pages to delivery drivers to librarians to
maintenance workers—on the core value of intellectual freedom and each person’s accountability for applying the library’s IF policies. Find out how they use ALA Read posters and pipe cleaners to create a positive learning environment....
CLENE Exchange 23, no. 1 (Sept.)
Nominees sought for Improving Library Workers’ Salaries and Status award
ALA-APA is seeking nominees of both individuals and organizations that have made a positive change in the salaries or status of librarians and/or support staff. The SirsiDynix Corporation sponsors this $5,000 award....
LITA/Library Hi Tech award
Nominations are invited for the 2007 LITA/Library Hi Tech Award given each year to an individual or institution for outstanding achievement in communication for continuing education in library and information technology. The award includes a citation of merit and a $1,000 stipend provided by Emerald Press, publishers of Library Hi Tech....
Suspicious fire guts Indiana public library
Library Director Chris Brown said he was “devastated” by an arson fire that destroyed the 4-year-old Williamsport–Washington Township (Ind.) Public Library October 8. The fire broke out about 9:20 p.m. and destroyed the library in about 80 minutes. The damage was estimated at between $2 million and $3 million....
Lafayette (Ind.) Journal and Courier, Oct. 10
Schwarzenegger terminates RFID bill
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed Senate Bill 768, which would have put restrictions on RFID systems used by government agencies in the state, including library cards. In his comments to the state senate, Schwarzenegger cited some of the same concerns the RFID industry raised about the bill. Key provisions of the bill included citizen notification when cards or documents contained RFID tags, notification of where RFID readers were located and when they were in use, opt-out provisions, and privacy security....
RFID Update, Oct. 5
Book sales up, thanks to Google and Amazon snippets
Publishers are starting to report an uptick in sales from Google’s online program that lets readers peek inside books, two years after the launch of its plan to digitally scan everything in print. “Google Book Search has helped us turn searchers into consumers,” said Colleen Scollans, the director of online sales for Oxford University Press. Penguin reports that Amazon.com’s search tool has resulted in a 7% increase in sales of its titles....
Reuters, Oct. 6
Tennessee library proceeds with privatization
Members of the Jackson–Madison County (Tenn.) Library Board say they are relieved and pleased they can move forward with a contract with private company Library Systems and Services LLC to manage library operations. Chancery Court Judge James Butler decided October 6 that the board will not be blocked from making any contract negotiations while waiting for a Tennessee Court of Appeals decision....
Jackson (Tenn.) Sun, Oct. 7
Florida library volunteers say no to drug testing
Levy County’s public libraries are struggling to get books checked out or reshelved because retirees who usually handle many of those chores have balked at a requirement that they “pee in a cup” as part of a mandatory drug test for all county volunteers. The pool of 55 has dwindled to two and the number of hours worked by volunteers in the county’s five libraries plunged from 330 to 11 over the past year....
Gainesville (Fla.) Sun, Oct. 7
St. Paul libraries beef up security
Officials say that libraries are safe destinations, but that “quality-of-life” incidents have called greater attention to patron safety. When a man tried to enter a locked back door at the Rondo Community Outreach branch of the St. Paul (Minn.) Public Library recently, a camera mounted on the building alerted a guard. By the time a guard arrived at the building’s rear, the man was gone, but the $75,000 security system had performed its duty....
Minneapolis Star Tribune, Oct. 8
McGovern library dedicated in South Dakota
Senator George McGovern may have lost the 1972 presidential election, but he inspired many others to work for justice, decency, and a better life for poor people around the world, former President Bill Clinton said October 7 at a ceremony to dedicate a library in Mitchell, South Dakota, in McGovern’s honor. Clinton was the keynote speaker at the official dedication of the George and Eleanor McGovern Library and Center for Leadership and Public Service....
Associated Press, Oct. 7
Gulf Coast libraries to get Gates help
The director of the Harrison County (Miss.) Library System has been asked to participate in efforts by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help hurricane-battered libraries on the Gulf Coast recover and rebuild. Robert Lipscomb has been meeting with Gates Foundation officials to lay out recovery needs of the Harrison County system, post-Hurricane Katrina....
Biloxi (Miss.) Sun Herald, Oct. 11
King papers to go on display in Atlanta
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 78th birthday in January will feature a gift to the city: the first public viewing of more than 10,000 of his documents, notes, and other personal items. Pieces of the King Collection—from a term paper he wrote as a student at Atlanta’s Morehouse College to a draft of his “I Have A Dream” speech—will be on display at the Atlanta History Center....
Associated Press, Oct. 9
Timbuktu’s buried treasure
Anyone who cares about rare books would have been horrified by the damage. Page after page of the 16th- to 18th-century Malian manuscripts that Abdel Kader Haidara brought to the Library of Congress this past April was shot through with watermarks and insect holes. One sheet of a scientific manuscript titled Knowledge of the Movement of the Stars and What it Portends in Every Year was almost entirely washed out—only a few words remained legible....
Washington Post, Oct. 8
Technically Speaking: The library business
Andrew Pace writes: “A few months ago, I finally started a blog. Hectic Pace is a (usually) weekly blog about ‘the library business in the business of libraries’ and an online companion to this column. While this might smack of self-promotion, I wanted to devote a little regular ink to what motivated me to finally take on another deadline.”...
American Libraries 37, no. 9 (Oct.): 48–49
Internet Librarian: Voices and ears
Joseph Janes writes: “People ask where I get column ideas. I’ve previously acknowledged the contributions of game shows, sports, everybody I ever knew in my entire life, wandering around aimlessly at ALA conferences, and so on. I’m modestly chagrined to realize many of the columns have been inspired by reading the New York Times, but inspiration strikes where it will—and here we go again.”...
American Libraries 37, no. 9 (Oct.): 46
ALA TechSource blog is one year old
Michelle Boule writes: “A little over a year ago, ALA TechSource Blog sashayed out onto the dance floor. I remember thinking how it was wonderful that ALA was finally getting into blogs. In the spirit of lifelong learning, I leave you with 10 Things I Learned from the ALA TechSource Blog in the Last Year.”...
ALA TechSource blog, Oct. 4
Google and YouTube: Unanswered questions
After Google’s announcement October 9 that it had acquired video-sharing website YouTube for $1.65 billion, Steve Bryant at Google Watch began wondering: “When you justify your company’s largest purchase ever with 1) ‘It was a good cultural fit,’ and 2) We have ‘20–30 ideas,’ and then don’t reveal how you came to a $1.65-billion valuation, it leaves some questions unanswered.” Perhaps one of the biggest is “Who will sue Google first?”...
Google Watch, Oct. 10
Where everybody knows your (screen) name
Constance Steinkuehler and Dmitri Williams examine the form and function of Massively Multiplayer Online Games in terms of social engagement. Combining findings from media-effects research, communication-effects literature, ethnographic research, and a sociocultural perspective on cognition and learning, they present a shared theoretical framework for understanding the extent to which such virtual worlds are structurally similar to “third places” for informal sociability....
Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 11, no. 4 (2006)
Toward a 21st-century library catalog (PDF file)
Library catalogs have represented stagnant technology
for close to 20 years. Moving toward a next-generation
catalog, North Carolina State University Libraries purchased Endeca’s Information Access Platform to give its users relevance-ranked keyword search results and to leverage the rich metadata trapped in the MARC record to enhance collection browsing. Kristin Antelman, Emily Lynema, and Andrew Pace discuss the new functionality that has been enabled, the implementation process and system architecture, assessment of the new catalog’s performance, and future directions....
Information Technology and Libraries 25, no. 3 (Sept.): 128–139
Show your academic librarian some love
Many academic librarians feel unloved and underappreciated on their campuses, and the main reason is that they sense they are viewed as second-class citizens by members of the teaching faculty. Some professors summarily dismiss librarians’ earnest and repeated offers of research instruction or, at the very least, don’t take full advantage of those offers. So if you are a teaching faculty member, why not respond to that librarian who e-mails you every fall with an offer to meet you and your students for research-education (or “information literacy”) sessions at the library and take him or her up on it?...
Todd Gilman, Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 3
“Do you like people? And do people like you?” If so, according
to this 1947 vocational guidance film (10:08) by Holmes (Burton) Films,
Inc., then you might consider becoming a librarian. Featuring a nearly
all-female cast—except the male library administrator, of course—this
amusing educational film explains the different types of libraries, librarians,
Hey, kids! Be a librarian for Halloween!
Target sells these incredibly accurate Librarian Halloween costumes in its online store. The description notes: “Includes a navy blue dress with screen-printed skirt, attached tulle petticoat, shawl, rhinestone glasses, and removable ‘Naughty Librarian’ badge.” Still, why spend $59.99 on a costume when we librarians can just open our closets and wear one of our many ALA-mandated cape/miniskirt combos?...
Erica Olsen, Librarian Avengers blog, Oct. 4
Pittsburgh historical website launched
The University Library System of the University of Pittsburgh has launched Documenting Pitt: Historical Publications and Images of the University of Pittsburgh. Through the financial support of the Office of Provost, the ULS Digital Research Library digitized more than 70,000 pages of textual materials from the University Archives that provide a wealth of information about the history of the University....
University of Pittsburgh
Today in history
Each day of the year, the Library of Congress presents historic images and facts from its American Memory collections. For example, on October 11, 1965, photographer Dorothea Lange, best known for her photographs that humanized the tragic consequences of the Great Depression (above), died in San Francisco at the age of 70. The National Archives and Records Administration also offers a Document of the Day....
Library of Congress
Huntington Library receives an electrifying donation (PDF file)
In a move certain to delight California history buffs and serious scholars
alike, power company Edison International has transferred its extensive photographic archive of the development of the region to the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California. The Edison archive includes approximately 40,000 photographic prints, 35,000 negatives, 120
photo albums, and 450 reels of motion picture film that chronicle the development of Southern California’s infrastructure....
Huntington Library, Oct. 5
Books in the buff
The Texas Library Association is preparing to ship the 2007–2008 Men of TLA calendar, “a celebration of the humor and complexity of that precious natural resource—men in libraryland!” No, the Texas libraries’ air-conditioning isn’t on the blink—this is a fundraising activity for the TLA Disaster Relief Fund, featuring 18 months of glossy, full-color biblio-beefcake....
Texas Library Association
Special events at Midwinter include Leslie Burger’s ALA President’s Program, January 21, on “Moving Toward Excellence: Transforming Your Library, Transforming Your Community.”
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.
For the entire month of October, YALSA’s bloggers are posting “31 Positive Uses of Social Networking” —different ways that social networking technologies can be used with youth in a positive, educational way in libraries, schools, and homes.
October 21 is the last day to register for YALSA’s WrestleMania Reading Challenge!
We just want to offer some first-class snaps to America’s librarians. They were one of the few groups that attempted to stand up (unsuccessfully) against the Patriot Act and its attack on the First Amendment. (Yes, the library really does keep a record of what books you borrow under that act.)
Bravo’s The Dish blog, Aug. 30, making note of ALA’s Banned Books Week .
Materials for the popular Every Child Ready to Read @ your library program are available now at the ALA Online Store. Based on research from the PLA/ALSC Early Literacy Initiative, the program targets parents and caregivers of children ages 0–5.
Cook Memorial Public Library District, Libertyville, Illinois.
The district seeks an entrepreneurial leader to increase resources through innovation and a strategic revenue development plan, maintain and enhance the Cook reputation of delighting customers with service, increase the size and functionality of the library facilities, and develop a vision that makes the library relevant now and in the future....
for more career opportunities.
130 years ago, during the Centennial International Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876, 103 librarians responded to a call for a “Convention of Librarians” to be held October 4–6 at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. At the end of the meeting, according to Ed Holley in his essay ALA at 100 (ALA Yearbook, 1976), “the register was passed around for all to sign who wished to become charter members.” In attendance at this first ALA conference were 90 men and 13 women, among them Justin Winsor, William Frederick Poole, Charles Ammi Cutter, Melvil Dewey, and Richard R. Bowker.
do YOU think?
If you were to decide to look for a new library-related job today, which method of finding one would you choose first?
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.
Stories inside include:
Race for Readers: Enticing College Students to Read Books
On the Roofwith Poets
What percentage of collection loss is standard in U.S. libraries?
The reasoning and extent in reporting library theft varies, and so a national figure might not be reliable. Such statistics are only collected locally and not on a national basis, so we must rely on general articles to describe the extent of the problem. For some specific references, see the ALA website.
Read Pat Scales’s “Fighting for the Freedom to Read: Hazelwood, Scopes, and McCarthy” in the September issue of Book Links.
Bibliotheca Alexandrina. “Impressions of Alexandria.”
British Library. “Guide to Sacred Treasures.”
British Library. “Memorable Front Pages: Celebrating 100 Years of the British Newspaper, 1906–2006.”
Columbia University. “Jewels in Her Crown: Treasures of Columbia University Libraries Special Collections.”
Cornell University. “Nevermore: The Edgar Allan Poe Collection of Susan Jaffe Tane.”
Harvard Business School, Baker Library. “A New and Wonderful Invention: The 19th-Century American Trade Card.”
Huntington Library. “Chrysanthemums on the Eastern Hedge: Gardens and Plants in Chinese Art.”
Library and Archives Canada. “Canada, A Collector’s Passion: The Peter Winkworth Collection of Canadiana.”
Library of Congress. “Bound for Glory: America in Color, 1939–1943.”
National Library of Australia. “South Land to New Holland: Dutch Charting of Australia, 1606–1756.”
National Library of Ireland. “The Life and Works of William Butler Yeats.”
National Library of Sweden. “Reflections of the Orient: Religion, Poetry, Prose, and Pictures.”
Rosenbach Museum and Library. “Ruffs, Ribbons, Collars, and Cravats: A Brief History of Neckwear.”
San Francisco Public Library. “Amusing America: Participatory Commercial Amusements in American Cities.”
University at Buffalo, Law Library. “Tibetan Legal Manuscripts.”
University of California, Los Angeles. “A&M Records Collection.”
University of Connecticut. “Railroad Stations of Southern New England.”
University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “Las Vegas and Water in the West.”
University of Southern California. “Life As He Knew It: Photographs of Black Los Angeles from the Walter Gordon Collection.”
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