September 20, 2006
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U.S. & World News

EPA logoEPA library closings continue despite protests
Touting it as part of a plan to put more information online, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been closing its regional libraries in spite of protests by federal employees. The Chicago library shut its doors August 28, and the Dallas and Kansas City, Missouri, libraries are set to close by the end of September....

IMLS gets feedback on NCLIS and NCES survey consolidation
The Institute of Museum and Library Services released a summary September 13 of comments on its July draft plan to consolidate the policy functions of the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science and the public and state library surveys of the National Center for Education Statistics into its operations....

Worcester Public Library cardHomeless patrons win in Worcester
The Worcester (Mass.) Public Library board of directors decided September 12 to permit homeless patrons who receive mail at a shelter or elsewhere to check out as many books as any other patrons. The decision followed a class action lawsuit filed in July by the Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Massachusetts and the American Civil Liberties Union, charging that the library’s borrowing policies were unfairly restricting access for residents who live in homeless shelters....

Arrests made in middle school library arson
Three 15-year-old boys have been arrested in the torching of the Sacajawea Middle School in Spokane, Washington. The early-morning fire on September 8 gutted the media center, which was set ablaze by igniting gasoline that had been poured around the library, but thanks to a quick response from firefighters the flames did not spread to any other area of the campus....

DCPL Anacostia branchD.C. residents rally for branches again
Washingtonians gathered at a closed branch of the District of Columbia Public Library the first week of September to demand its immediate reopening. The protest, sponsored by the D.C. Library Renaissance Project, took place at the Anacostia branch, one of four closed in December 2004 for reconstruction....

Prison uncovers library book drug-smuggling scam
The Michigan Department of Corrections has foiled a plot to smuggle drugs hidden in borrowed public library books into a state prison. State Police Detective Sgt. Edward Doyle said in the September 13 Grand Rapids Press that a scheme at the Carson City (Mich.) Correctional Facility was discovered through an informant before any drugs entered the prison....

Join the Caravan coverAustralian university library removes alleged jihad books
Fearing that federal authorities could press charges under the Australian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2005, the University of Melbourne has removed three books on Islamic jihad by Abdullah Azzam from open shelves in the Baillieu Library. Two of the books—Defence of the Muslim Lands and Join the Caravan—were banned from importation by a federal review board in July that found them liable to incite acts of terrorism and martyrdom....

ALA News

We the People Bookshelf logoWe the People Bookshelf theme is the “Pursuit of Happiness”
Part of the National Endowment for the Humanities We the People initiative, the Bookshelf is a grant program created to encourage young people to read and understand great literature while exploring themes in American history. This year’s theme is the “Pursuit of Happiness.” In spring 2007, NEH and ALA will select 2,000 libraries to receive the Bookshelf....

Freedom to Read Foundation organizational memberships
As part of its efforts to meet increasing challenges to intellectual freedom, the Freedom to Read Foundation has established an organizational membership category. This new dues structure offers libraries, businesses, and nonprofits a greater opportunity to support librarians throughout the country who are facing attempts to restrict access to library materials and services....

Anne Tyler coverFeatured review: Media
Tyler, Anne. Digging to America. Read by Blair Brown. Sept. 2006. 8.5 hr. Books on Tape, CS. (1-4159-3031-7).
Kudos to Brown for her on-target reading of Tyler’s fictional exploration of two families who forge an unlikely friendship following the adoption of their Korean-born daughters. Brown perfectly limns the laid-back Donaldsons, who are intent on preserving daughter Jin-Ho’s Korean roots. She also expertly depicts the Yazdans, an Iranian-American family who name their daughter the more American-sounding Susan....

Division News

Meg Cabot as the PrincessMeg Cabot records Teen Read Week PSAs
The author of The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot, has recorded two Public Service Announcements for Teen Read Week, October 15–21. The PSAs, in MP3 format and available for downloading, are meant for librarians to use in raising awareness about Teen Read Week in their communities....

AASL unveils new committee structure
The AASL board of directors has adopted a new committee structure to better align the division with its new strategic plan. The new structure will maintain fewer standing committees and employ more task-oriented work groups to carry forward the association’s mission....

PLA Spring Symposium logoRegister for PLA Spring Symposium
PLA is now accepting registrations for its Spring Symposium to be held in San Jose, California, at the Fairmont San Jose, March 1–3, 2007. Registrations will be accepted by fax, mail, or online through January 29. The 2007 Symposium will feature six one-and-a-half-day-long workshops targeted toward a variety of public library professionals....

ACRL offers three CE workshops at Midwinter
ACRL is presenting three professional-development workshops January 19 in conjunction with the 2007 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle. The advance registration deadline is December 8....


Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness department library at the University of Ghana, Accra. Photo by Robin Bergart.Liaison librarian makes connections in Ghana (PDF file)
Robin Bergart, liaison librarian at the University of Guelph, Ontario, describes her adventures in improving the Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness department library (shown at right) at the University of Ghana in Accra....
International Leads 20, no. 3 (Sept.)


Ross AtkinsonNew ALCTS award honors Ross Atkinson
In conjunction with its 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2007, ALCTS has established the Ross Atkinson Lifetime Achievement Award. This new award honors the legacy of Ross Atkinson, distinguished library leader, author, and scholar whose extraordinary service to ALCTS and the library community at large serves as a model for those in the field....

Carlie Webber named winner of YALSA audiobook contest
Carlie Webber of the Bergen County Cooperative Library System in Hackensack, New Jersey, has won the opportunity to record a literacy message at the end of an audiobook, courtesy of Listening Library. The contest, a part of “Reading with Your Ears,” a YALSA preconference on audiobooks at ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, involved participants recording a sample of an audiobook....

GODORT 2006 award recipients
The Government Documents Round Table recognized five individuals in 2006 for their work and service: Grace Ann York (James Bennett Childs Award), Sherry Mosley (“Documents to the People” Award), Julie Linden (Catharine J. Reynolds Research Grant), Ann Marie Sanders (Hoduski Founders Award), and Kevin Reynolds (Rozkuszka Scholarship)....

Apply for the Ingenta Research Award
The Library Research Round Table encourages applications for the Ingenta Award, a grant of up to $6,000 for a research study and $1,000 for travel to a national or international conference to present the results. The award is given to support projects involving the acquisition, use, and preservation of digital information. The deadline is March 31, 2007....

ALSC professional awards
ALSC offers awards that provide travel support for continuing education opportunities, honor individuals for superior service to the division or the profession, and recognize and support outstanding library programming for children. The application or nomination deadline for all the awards is December 1....

Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Grants
The Institute of Museum and Library Services invites libraries, archives, library agencies, associations, and consortia to apply for the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian grant program. The program supports efforts to recruit and educate the next generation of librarians and the faculty who will prepare them for careers in library science. The deadline is December 15....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Sept. 18

Marchionini wins LACASIS award
Gary Marchionini, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill SILS, has been selected as the 2006 recipient of the Contribution to Information Science Award, given by the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Society of Information Science and Technology to honor an individual who has made significant contributions to the field of information science....
Los Angeles Chapter, ASIS&T

Seen Online

Melanie Miller, second from left in front, and her son, Colin, immediately behind her, pose along with others in their crew at the Ninth Ward in New Orleans

A Kansan in the Ninth Ward (PDF file)
Melanie Miller (front row center, kneeling), director of the Hays (Kans.) Public Library, writes about her experience as a volunteer with Common Ground cleaning up a house in New Orleans one day during ALA Annual Conference. She writes: “Hard physical labor did not present a problem, but dehydration did. It is interesting to see what happens to your body when you work in a full-body suit, rubber gloves, and Wellingtons in 94-degree temperatures with 100-percent humidity.”...
Hays (Kans.) Daily News, Aug. 28

Texas Tech student thief caught
22-year-old student assistant Jonathan Nunley was indicted in August on a third-degree felony theft charge after more than $75,000 worth of Texas Tech University Library books found their way to an online retailer. Between March 30 and July 31, police believe Nunley sent or arranged to send more than 1,000 books to an Oregon-based online book buyer specializing in textbooks and nonfiction....
Lubbock (Tex.) Avalanche-Journal, Sept. 17

Vatican stamp showing Pius  XIVatican opens a portion of its secret archives
The Vatican opened part of its secret archives September 18 to let historians review some 30,000 bundles of documents from the 1922–1939 papacy of Pius XI to gain insight into how the Holy See dealt with the growing persecution of Jews before World War II. The opening is part of the Vatican’s efforts to defend Pius’ successor, the wartime Pope Pius XII, against claims he did not do enough to save Jews from the Holocaust....
Associated Press, Sept. 18

Mi Cuba Bella, recorded by Panchita Trigo, from the collection of Cristobal Diaz-Ayala, Florida International UniversityFlorida International gets a world-class Cuban music collection
What is likely the most complete collection of Cuban music anywhere is housed in Florida International University’s Green Library. The collection of the island’s seminal music—the origin of genres from salsa to Latin jazz—as well as items from other Latin American countries, is the result of two generous gifts....
Miami Herald, Sept. 17

Small-town WWII letters collection goes to LC
As the town’s unofficial historian, Virginia Hoare always knew the contributions Seneca, Missouri, gave to the World War II war effort. Now, because of her, a rich compilation of Seneca soldiers’ and sailors’ letters and pictures, as well as a treasure of other 1940s tidbits with a local flair, have recently landed a place in scrapbook form at the Library of Congress....
Neosho (Mo.) Daily News, Sept. 18

Rural Kansas public libraries survive, but just barely
Because of declining population and a tiny property tax base, one-third of the 54 libraries that are part of the Central Kansas Library System can’t raise enough tax revenue to pay a librarian to work just 10 hours a week. The key to survival for small libraries, said James Swan, administrator of the Great Bend-based system, is “the will of the people.”...
Salina (Kans.) Journal, Sept. 3

Philadelphia Free Library to get $9.5 million for expansion
Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell announced September 18 that the state is investing $9.5 million in the Free Library of Philadelphia’s central branch expansion and renovation project, saying such investments are important to the city’s revitalization and future....
PR Newswire, Sept. 18

Maritime Museum libraryMaritime Museum library closes to the public
The San Francisco Maritime Museum’s library, which has the largest collection of materials on ships and the sea on the Pacific Coast, will close to the public, except by appointment, effective October 1. In addition to cutting public access, the library’s budget will be reduced by a third as part of a realignment at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park....
San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 15

Arsonists torch Santa Cruz County high school
Someone set fire to the San Lorenzo Valley High School in Felton, California, September 16, completely destroying 11,000 books, furniture, and dozens of computers in the school library. Officials estimate the damage at more than $2 million....
Santa Cruz (Calif.) Sentinel, Sept. 19

Salt Lake Library returns to normal after blast
The Salt Lake City, Utah, Main Library remained a prime page-turning venue last weekend, despite a pipe-bomb explosion September 15 that broke a window and led to the building’s evacuation....
Salt Lake Tribune, Sept. 17

Scottish doctors prescribe self-help books
Self-help books are being made available on prescription in Fife and Glasgow, Scotland, in an attempt to tackle depression, eating disorders, and other mental-health issues. The scheme allows patients to borrow the books anonymously from local libraries for up to six weeks....
The Scotsman, Sept. 6

Actions and Answers

Levine report coverTeacher education is out of step with classroom reality, report says
The vast majority of the nation’s teachers are prepared in programs that have low admission and graduation standards and cling to an outdated vision of teacher education, concludes a new four-year study authored by Arthur Levine, president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. The report, Educating School Teachers (PDF file), finds that most education schools are engaged in a “pursuit of irrelevance,” with curriculums in disarray and faculty disconnected from classrooms and colleagues....
Education Schools Project, Sept. 18

UFO Gushi coverScience fiction and science are partners in China
The link between science fiction and actual scientific progress may seem specious to those reared on Western sci-fi, but in China the connection isn’t so far-fetched. With China’s forays into space generating interest in all things extraterrestrial, Chinese science-fiction fans have achieved critical mass. This year, Beijing announced that it would start awarding prizes for sci-fi literature....
Seed Magazine, Sept. 12

Will research sharing keep pace with the internet?
(PDF file)

SPARC’s Richard K. Johnson writes: “By seamlessly linking data, knowledge, and users, the emerging research environment promises to catapult science ahead. And, given the complex scientific, social, and economic challenges that face us, the arrival of these new capacities is coming none too soon.”...
Journal of Neuroscience 26 (Sept. 13, 2006): 9349–9351

Cable in the Classroom cover with  Kapolei's Carolyn Kirio and Sandra YamamotoAchieving success, aloha style
(PDF file)

Under the guidance of its library media specialists, Kapolei High School and its students have been recognized in Hawaii, nationally, and internationally for their success in raising reading and math scores. In this interview, Kapolei High library media specialist Carolyn Kirio discusses the guiding principles of her school’s efforts and explains how other schools might model its success....
Cable in the Classroom, Oct., pp. 8–9

UK library buildings’ survey published
A report published by the UK Museums, Libraries, and Archives Council shows 70% of England’s public library buildings are fit for their purpose and meet health and safety standards. The report (PDF file) estimates the cost of bringing the remaining 30% of library buildings up to standard at £760 million ($1.4 billion U.S.)....
eGov Monitor, Sept. 18

Dvorak tackles translation software
PC Magazine columnist John C. Dvorak weighs in on online translation software: “If computers can now play a credible world-class game of chess, then they should be able to translate complex sentences written in the world’s major languages. They should be able to translate to and from English, to and from French, and to and from Russian. I eventually expect a translation to and from Chinese and Japanese, too. Exactly what’s the hangup?”...
PC Magazine, Sept. 18

Store your records on the Moon
Hollow lava tubes on the Moon could be used as a giant digital library. That’s one commercial possibility for the Moon, put forth in a white paper by NASA astrobiologist David McKay. The lunar computers could be buried in lunar soil, put at the bottom of craters, or set into lava tubes, which are subsurface caves in which lava used to flow....
Short Sharp Science blog, Sept. 20

Sponsor: Sirsi Dynix

Sirsi Dynix ad

Versed logo

The ALA Office for Diversity seeks submissions for its bulletin, Versed, which focuses on best practices in library-based diversity work. Published five times a year online, the next print issue will be distributed at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle.

Logo image
Through the National Library Legislative Day 2007 Student Contest, one student (age 12–18) will win a free trip to the 33rd Annual National Library Legislative Day in Washington, D.C., May 1–2, 2007. Students must submit a catchy slogan and interesting logo for the event by October 29. The contest is sponsored by the ALA Washington Office and YALSA.

Research Foundation of the State University of New York. Responsible for development and implementation of policies, procedures, and programs to carry out the directions set by the NYSHEI Board of Directors. Advocacy and member relations are major responsibilities....

Joblist logo
for more career opportunities.

Take Action logo

In March, 73 senators voted for the Arlen Specter/Tom Harkin amendment that provided an additional $7 billion for education and related programs in the FY2007 budget resolution. However, the Senate Appropriations Committee reported out a bill that is $2 billion short of the FY2005 level, ignoring the amendment. Visit ALA’s Legislative Action Center for more details.

ALA E-Learning services

Get Active TRW logo

Teen Read Week is only one month away. Be sure to register in order to get a free poster. Review ideas for displays, contests, reading lists, and programs from the TRW website.

What are YOU doing?

Will your library host a candidates’ debate or any other political forum in the run-up to the November elections?

Click here

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

Results of the
September 13 poll:

Have your library’s news and issues been covered accurately by the general media?


Rarely covered...15%

(81 responses)

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

September College & Research Libraries News cover
Steven J. Bell and Michael J. Krasulski answer the question What’s Google up to Now? in the September issue of ACRL’s College & Research Libraries News.

“I can see ‘The Larry Flynt Children’s Room.’ I wouldn’t be very happy with that.”

—Library board Vice President Charles Lindberg, on allowing portions of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County to be named after sponsors, Cincinnati Enquirer, Aug. 9.

September 2006
AL cover
Stories inside include:

The Next Big Issue: Public Access to Research

How Academic Libraries Can Meet Student Info-Seeking Behaviors

Break Out the Pinstripe Suits: Are You Ready for the For-Profit World?

Got a question?

The ALA Library has some answers.

About 800 of them a month, for that matter. Founded in 1924 to provide support to ALA staff and members researching library policies and practices, the ALA Library responds to questions from around the globe.

Q. Help! With Banned Books Week approaching, a 6th-grade teacher in my school assigned her class a project of investigating why particular books have been banned. What resources are there to help me?

A. As you might guess, this is a “Frequently Answered Question” at this time of the year . . . see the website for our answer.

Send us a question and we’ll publish the best one in a future issue of AL Direct.

Oct. 23–25:

Internet Librarian Conference, Monterery (Calif.) Conference Center. “Integrated Experiences: Compelling Content Combinations.” Contact: Information Today, 609-654-6266.

Oct. 26–29:
Online Audiovisual Catalogers Conference, Mesa, Arizona. “Preparing for a Brave New World: Media Cataloging on the Threshold of RDA.” Contact: Timothy Diel.

Oct. 29–31:
New Jersey Association of School Librarians, Annual Conference, Ocean Place Resort and Spa, Long Branch. “School Libraries: Where Learning Starts.” Contact: Leslie Blatt.

Nov. 1–2:
Ohio Library Council, Management and Administration Conference, Columbus. Contact: OLC, 614-416-2258.

Nov. 3:
Academic Library Association of Ohio, Annual Conference, Crowne Plaza Quaker Square, Akron. “Recipes for Library Success: Ingredients, Process, and Product.” Contact: Karen A. Plummer, 330-972-7244.

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