September 27, 2006
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U.S. & World News

Court affirms Contra Costa’s worship ban
A federal appeals court ruled September 20 that government libraries can bar religious groups from holding worship services in public meeting rooms. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco voted 2–1 to overturn a May 23 district court injunction that granted the Faith Center Church Evangelistic Ministries a First Amendment right to use the public facilities at Contra Costa County (Calif.) Library’s Antioch branch for “prayer, praise, and worship.”...

Teens arrested in California high school library arson
Three young adults suspected of setting fires that burned down the San Lorenzo Valley High School library in Felton, California, were arrested September 19. The teens told investigators they had been drinking at a party before they went to the school campus and started lighting fires....

Map thief acted out of spite, prosecutors say
A Massachusetts map dealer who admitted in June to stealing rare maps worth about $3 million claims that his actions were partly motivated by resentment towards curators at the libraries that owned them....

Mel Gibson posters stay put in Schaumburg
The Schaumburg Township (Ill.) District Library board voted unanimously September 19 to allow three Mel Gibson posters to remain displayed in the library. In August, a library patron had requested the removal of an ALA Read poster, first released in 2000, that depicts the Hollywood icon holding a copy of George Orwell’s 1984....

Former Indianapolis trustee guilty of conflict of interest
A former member of the Indianapolis–Marion County Public Library was sentenced to a year’s probation September 20 after pleading guilty to a felony count of conflict of interest for his role in hiring a construction company to coordinate the expansion of its downtown branch....

ALA News

The Step Up to the Plate @ your library wrapped up Monday night at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis as Minnesota Twins mascot TC Bear randomly selected the grand prize winner, Joseph Kuykendall, age 12, from Andover, Mass. On field for the pregame ceremony were Deborah Bloom, Manager of ALA's Campaign for America's Libraries; Jeff Idelson, Vice President Communications and Education for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (holding the baseball); and Gary Thaden, a trustee with the Minneapolis Public Library.

Step Up to the Plate winner chosen at Minnesota Twins game
During a pre-game ceremony at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis September 25, Minnesota Twins mascot TC Bear chose Joseph Kuykendall, age 12, of Andover, Massachusetts, as the grand-prize winner of the Step Up to the Plate @ your library program. Developed by ALA and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Step Up to the Plate officially wrapped up its first season with the national drawing. Also present on field were officials of ALA, the Hall of Fame, and the Minneapolis Public Library....

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire coverHarry Potter books are the most challenged of the 21st century
In honor of the 25th anniversary of Banned Books Week (September 23–30), ALA has compiled a list of the top 10 most challenged books from 2000 to 2005, with the Harry Potter series of books leading the pack (although it escaped the top 10 list in 2005). All but three of the books on this list also were in the top 10 of the most challenged books of the 1990s....

ALA supports congressional effort to investigate EPA library closure
The Environmental Protection Agency has announced that it has begun closing its libraries in response to the Bush Administration’s planned $2-million cuts to the agency’s 2007 federal budget. ALA disagrees with the EPA’s claims that closing the libraries—which field more than 134,000 requests a year from the agency’s own staff in addition to requests from the public—will not impede the agency’s mission to provide environmental information to its staff and the public....

Program will celebrate First Amendment champions
Eight individuals who have taken risky, at times harrowing, stands on behalf of the First Amendment in recent months will discuss their experiences at a program to be held September 28 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Forum participants include New York Times reporter James Risen, Jack Anderson biographer Mark Feldstein, ABC News reporters Brian Ross and Richard Esposito, and the four “John Doe” librarians from Connecticut who successfully challenged an FBI attempt to gain patron information using a National Security Letter....

Get a good look at the ALA Councilors
The ALA Governance Office has posted a photo gallery of ALA Council members (at least those who have submitted a photo). For a complete list of councilors, view the full roster....

New rural advocacy toolkit
ALA’s Campaign for America’s Libraries and the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services are presenting a new rural advocacy toolkit and guide to attendees of the Joint Conference of the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services and the Association of Rural and Small Libraries, September 28–29, in Columbus, Ohio....

Colonial America coverFeatured review: Reference
Ciment, James, ed. Colonial America: An Encyclopedia of Social, Political, Cultural, and Economic History. Sept. 2006. 1,324p. Sharpe. (0-7656-8065-3).
Colonial America presents a bird’s-eye view of life in the original colonies, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Canada with entries “designed to complement the high-school American history curriculum as well as undergraduate survey courses.” Although their professors may relish the scholarship of the topically arranged Encyclopedia of the North American Colonies (1994), students will find it less frustrating to browse Colonial America’s seven broad thematic essays (“Gender Issues,” “Race and Ethnicity,” etc.) and more than 450 alphabetically arranged articles on topics such as alcohol, food and diet, inns and taverns (public houses), and piracy....

Encyclopedia update, 2006
In this year’s update, Barbara Bibel and Shauna Yusko review three print encyclopedias: Encyclopedia Americana, The New Book of Knowledge, and The World Book Encyclopedia. Encyclopedia publishers continue to take a “big umbrella” approach, incorporating into one website an array of offerings. But they have also taken more steps to target specific audiences....

Baghdad Burning II coverElectronic postcards from Baghdad
Keir Graff writes: “Here are links to a selection of eye-opening passages from Riverbend’s Baghdad Burning II: More Girl Blog From Iraq (Feminist Press at CUNY, 2006), as they were first published on her blog. I’ve probably included too many, but I circled even more page numbers in the book. So many entries contained information I hadn’t known, or a viewpoint I hadn’t considered, or simply put it all together in a compelling way.”...
Likely Stories blog

Midwinter wiki launched
The Midwinter wiki is open to attendees and exhibitors of the ALA 2007 Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, January 19–24. Everyone is invited to exchange information about Midwinter events, committee work, the exhibit and trade show, and the city of Seattle. Planning, discussions, networking, and post-meeting recapping are encouraged....

Air travel carry-on restrictions eased
Travelers may now carry through security checkpoints travel-size toiletries (3 oz. or less) that fit comfortably in one quart-sized, clear plastic, zip-top bag. Beverages and other items purchased in the secure boarding area near the gates are now allowed....
U.S. Transportation Security Administration, Sept. 26

Division News

RUSA Midwinter logoBusiness Librarianship 101 at Midwinter
Learn the basics of business reference by attending the “Business Librarianship 101: Core Competencies for Business Librarianship” institute on Friday, January 19, presented by RUSA’s Business Reference and Services Section during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle....

Beyond Words logoAASL and Dollar General present 20 Beyond Words grants
AASL, Dollar General, and the National Education Association have awarded the second batch of Beyond Words grants to 20 school libraries affected by disasters. This fall, nearly $175,000 will be dispensed to hurricane-damaged schools in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. The funds will be used to replenish school library media centers with much-needed books and educational materials....

ALCTS 50-year logoALCTS goes “Definitely Digital” at its Midwinter symposium
ALCTS has announced “Definitely Digital: An Exploration of the Future of Knowledge on the Occasion of the 50th Anniversary of ALCTS” as its 2007 Midwinter Symposium, to be held Friday, January 19, in Seattle. Featured speakers include James Hilton, Lorcan Dempsey, Meg Bellinger, and Greg Tananbaum....


Religion and spirituality, 2006
Don Bell and Mike McCabe of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table have compiled a bibliography of recent titles in religion and spirituality for gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered persons....

Folksonomy fundamentals (PDF file)
Billie Peterson-Lugo describes the information-retrieval methodology known as “folksonomy” in the Tech Talk column of Library Instruction Round Table News....
LIRT News, Sept., pp. 9–12


NCL logoALA receives Literacy Leadership Award
This month ALA received the 2006 Literacy Leadership Award from the National Coalition for Literacy, a broad-based alliance of national adult and family literacy organizations, agencies, and associations. ALA was recognized for making “21st-century literacy” one of its five key action areas, for its adult literacy awards, and for its national partnership to create the online Verizon Literacy Network....

John Cotton Dana PR award competition opens
Competition is open now for the 2007 John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award contest, sponsored by the H. W. Wilson Company and LAMA. The deadline for entries is December 8....

LAMA/YBP Student Writing and Development Award
Students enrolled in ALA-accredited library and information studies programs are invited to submit essays in the Student Writing and Development Award competition sponsored by LAMA and YBP Library Services, Inc. The deadline for entries is March 1, 2007....

LC’s “Letters about Literature” winners
The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and Target Stores have announced the national winners of the 2006 “Letters About Literature” reading and writing program. More than 48,000 young readers in grades 4–12 participated in this year’s program, which encouraged young people to read, be inspired, and write to an author—past or present—who has somehow changed their view of the world or of themselves....
Library of Congress, Sept. 26

Seen Online

British Library calls for digital copyright action
The British Library has called for a “serious updating” of current copyright law to “unambiguously” include digital content and take technological advances into account. In a manifesto released September 25 at the Labour Party Conference in Manchester, the United Kingdom’s national library warned that the country’s traditional copyright law needs to be extended to fully recognize digital content....
C|Net, Sept. 25

Complutense-Google project logoSpanish university joins Google book scan plan
Complutense University of Madrid is the first library in a non-English-speaking country to join the Google Library Project. The library, the country’s second largest behind the National Library, houses 3 million works, including those by Cervantes and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz....
Reuters, Sept. 26

Salt Lake library to appear in Archie Comics
In issue 570 of Archie Comics, due out October 4, Archie, Veronica, Betty, and Jughead will visit the downtown Salt Lake City Public Library. The library’s Urban Room will be featured, along with the teen hangout Canteena and the shop Night Flight Comics. Library Director Nancy Tessman is quoted and the library’s anti-shh buttons are given some play....
Salt Lake Tribune, Sept. 26

Nonfiction popular with Guantánamo detainees
Men held captive at this U.S. military base in Cuba are confined to small cells, but their minds can wander far and wide by reading philosophy, history, murder mysteries—even Harry Potter. Nonfiction—particularly philosophy, biographies, and Arabic history—is most popular, the Army librarians say....
Associated Press, Sept. 24

Zero to Sixty coverLibrary books draw complaints in West Brazos
Students at West Brazos Junior High School in Brazoria, Texas, won’t be allowed to check books out of the school’s library after two complaints about profanity and sexual content were found in books borrowed by children. One September 19 complaint by a West Columbia resident claimed the book Zero to Sixty: The Motorcycle Journey of a Lifetime by Gary Paulsen, which was checked out from the school library by his 12-year-old son, contained details of sexual acts and profanity....
Brazosport (Tex.) Facts, Sept. 21

Most challenged books in America
This week marks the 25th anniversary of Banned Book Week, an effort by ALA to promote freedom of access to “unorthodox or unpopular” written works as well as freedom of expression within these books. “Throughout history, there always have been a few people who don’t want information to be freely available. And this is still true,” said ALA President Leslie Burger. “Banned Books Week reminds us that we must remain vigilant.”...
PBS newsmagazine NOW, Sept. 22

Detroit Pistons help renovate school library
The Detroit Pistons are turning a tired Lansing school library into an attention-grabbing learning arena. Lewton Elementary School in Lansing, Michigan, became the first school outside Metro Detroit to receive a specially designed “Live, Learn, and Play Center” from the NBA franchise during a grand opening September 26....
Lansing (Mich.) State Journal, Sept. 25

For Delta librarian, the end
How many have learned to read because of Ronnie Wise? He lost count long ago. As director of libraries for Bolivar County, Mississippi, one of America’s least literate places, where 41% of 40,000 residents can’t read, Wise keeps his mind on what needs doing, not what’s been done, which might be why he looks so cranky....
Los Angeles Times, Sept. 23

UC-Berkeley returns 1906 training manual
The original copy of an insurance training manual that escaped destruction in the San Francisco earthquake and fires of 1906 and later became a symbol that helped spur the city’s rebuilding was returned September 27 to its owner, the Insurance Education Association in San Francisco, after 60 years in circulation in UC Berkeley’s libraries....
San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 27

Artist's rendering of new CSU-Fresno libraryCSU-Fresno breaks ground on new library
A groundbreaking ceremony September 25 marked the official start of construction on the new Henry Madden Library at California State University, Fresno. When the $95-million building project is completed in fall 2008, the Madden Library will be the largest academic building (350,000 square feet) on campus. It also will become the largest library in CSU’s 23-campus system....
Fresno State News, Sept. 26

Actions and Answers

NMSU Library Dean Elizabeth Titus addresses the Pluto protestors as Patricia Tombaugh, the astronomer's widow, looks on. Photo courtesy of Jeanette Smith, NMSU Library.Pluto controversy touches NMSU library
A good-natured protest march from mid-campus to Zuhl Library on September 1 reaffirmed New Mexico State University’s affection and support for its own astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered Pluto in 1930. The former 9th planet was downgraded to “dwarf planet” in August. Library Dean Elizabeth Titus (left) provided background on the Library’s Tombaugh Papers, given by the family in 2001 and represented at the rally by the astronomer’s widow, Patricia Tombaugh (right)....
New Mexico State University, Sept. 8

Public libraries are community technology hubs
A national report released by Florida State University researchers September 26 reveals that 99% of all U.S. public libraries provide free public access to computers wired to the internet and that librarians overwhelmingly (71%) say that the most important impact of this service is providing internet access to those who otherwise would not have it. The report, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and ALA, also found that insufficient computer workstations and internet bandwidth pose the biggest challenges for U.S. public libraries in providing quality services....
Information Use Management and Policy Institute, Florida State University

Loriene RoyNational reading program helps Native communities
Loriene Roy, professor in the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin (and ALA President-elect), founded “If I Can Read, I Can Do Anything,” a national reading program for Native American children in fall 1999. Roy, an Anishinabe (Ojibwe) enrolled on the White Earth Reservation and a member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, has spent a lifetime promoting literacy for indigenous students. The goals of the program are to encourage reading, endorse library use, promote intergenerational reading, and build book collections at various sites....
University of Texas at Austin, Sept. 25

Audit: Reading First beset by favoritism
A September 22 internal report (PDF file) detailing the U.S. Department of Education’s handling of the multibillion-dollar Reading First grant program criticizes Bush administration officials for steering funding awards to certain educational publishers and for illegally dictating to schools which solutions they must use. Yet another report (PDF file), from the independent Center on Education Policy, suggests the program is having a significant impact on student achievement....
eSchool News online, Sept. 25

NCES has not redesignated school librarians as instructors
In its August 1 report on 2003–2004 expenditures for public elementary and secondary education, the National Center for Educational Statistics has modified the way expenditures are broken down, but it has not changed the underlying structure of financial accounting for states and school districts. School library media specialists and school library services continue to be classified as “support-services-instruction,” stemming from a definition of library media services that has not been changed since 1980....
ALA American Association of School Librarians

Banned in the U.S.A.: A quiz
In honor of Banned Books Week, Mental Floss Research Editor Sandy Wood put together a 12-question cultural-literacy test involving controversial titles. The first: True or False? Two 1960s children’s books written by Dr. Seuss were later removed from print (and stricken from his bibliography) for questionable moral content....
Mental Floss, Sept. 25

Banned books around the world (PDF file)
David Shook has compiled a brief list of books banned recently in Iran, Albania, Vietnam, China, and other countries....
World Literature Today 80, no. 5 (Sept.-Oct.): 25

The wire loopHelp solve the wire loop mystery
Over the last several years, books with a small wire loop have been found in several libraries across the United States. Initial inquiries found no satisfactory answer for their presence. Speculation included some sort of security device to tie the book in place, a method of attaching a bookmarker to the textblock, or a hook to attach an information tag. Books identified with these devices to date have been published in London by various firms between 1908 and 1933....
Michigan State University Libraries

University of Chicago study notes surprising result
“The more today’s Chicago students use electronic research materials, the more they do research the old-fashioned way,” writes Andrew Abbott about a 2005 survey of campus library usage conducted by the University of Chicago Provost’s Task Force. “The more an individual uses books, the more he or she uses electronic-research resources, and vice versa. At the very least, the survey data provides no evidence that traditional research practices are being replaced by electronic ones.”...
University of Chicago Magazine 99, no. 1 (Oct.)

Digital access to archival works
Cornell University Library Intellectual Property Officer Peter B. Hirtle takes a look at Section 108(b) of the copyright law and concludes that digital technologies could serve as a means of providing access to unpublished research materials without having to distribute physical copies to other repositories....
Stanford University Libraries, Sept. 24

Philosophical Transactions, June 20, 1676Royal Society launches online journal archive
The complete archive of the Royal Society journals, including some of the most significant scientific papers ever published since 1665, is to be made freely available electronically until December in the Journals Digital Archive. The archive contains seminal research papers including accounts of Michael Faraday’s groundbreaking series of electrical experiments, Isaac Newton’s invention of the reflecting telescope, and the first research paper published by Stephen Hawking....
Royal Society, Sept. 14 logoTen reasons to use instead of Google
Sarah Houghton writes: “I think many librarians rely on Google as their sole search engine, forgetting other search tools and the wealth of information that’s out there in the invisible web. But there is one search engine that I’ve come to rely on in addition to the big G: So, here are my 10 reasons that librarians should use instead of Google.”...
Librarian in Black, Sept. 22

Best practices for designing web services in the library context
The National Information Standards Organization has released a set of recommended practices (PDF file) to use in support of interoperable digital library services. Included are sections on HTTP caching, filtering of user input, reuse of output formats, security, and throttling....
NISO, Sept. 19

The future of the internet
A survey (PDF file) of internet leaders, activists, and analysts shows that a majority agree that by 2020, humans will remain in charge of technology; virtual reality will spawn new addiction problems; people will wittingly and unwittingly disclose more about themselves, gaining some benefits in the process even as they lose some privacy; and English will be a universal language of global communications....
Pew Internet & American Life Project, Sept. 24

Eugene Levy as Bobby BitmanBobby Bitman promotes the public “libary”
Eugene Levy (as Bobby Bitman) offers his take on kids and libraries in this sketch (1:43) that aired on SCTV, November 26, 1982: “As a kid, I was pretty ignorant. Fortunately for me, I ended up in show business.”...

Renaissance Library calendar, 2007Renaissance Library calendar, 2007
The Renaissance Library calendars have been produced since 2001 by Information Strategy and Information Management, a consulting and publishing firm based in Sollentuna, a suburb of Stockholm, Sweden. Each month features a photo of a historic library, selected from nominations submitted by librarians and information professionals in nearly 40 countries. The cover of the 2007 calendar shows the 1752 rococo-style library of St. Peter’s Abbey in the Black Forest, Germany....
Renaissance Library Collection

Sponsor: Sirsi Dynix

Sirsi Dynix ad

Banned Books Week web image
Libraries, schools, or individuals who would like to celebrate the freedom to read and help ALA get the word out on Banned Books Week 2006 (September 23–30) may freely save several sizes of web badges for mounting on their websites.

William O. Douglas
“Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.”—Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, “The One Un-American Act, Nieman Reports 7, no. 1 (Jan. 1953): 20.

JCLC logo
Advance registration for the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color, October 11–15, in Dallas, is open online until September 30. View the list of programs by track or interest area.

Interface logo
Read Holly Jin’s description of Skokie (Ill.) Public Library’s program to welcome children with special needs in the Fall issue of Interface, ASCLA’s online newsletter.


Orem (Utah) Public Library. Seeking voracious reader to lead Adult Services. Develop rich collection of fiction and nonfiction for adults. Hire, train, and lead highly motivated general reference staff. Provide personalized guidance to readers and researchers....

Joblist logo
for more career opportunities.

Midwinter Seattle logo
The 2007 Midwinter Meeting will be held in Seattle, Washington, January 19–24, 2007.

Teen Read Week banner
Place your order for Teen Read Week products by October 6 to guarantee delivery in time for the celebration, October 15–21.

What do YOU think?

Should community members serve on public library materials-selection committees to ensure that local standards are considered for acquisitions?

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 20 poll:

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


(52 responses)

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

“The effort has been welcomed by librarians, even the ‘naughty ones’ who hide behind those prim hair buns and granny glasses and pretend to talk about the Dewey Decimal System but are really hinting at . . . um, I digress.”

—News Editor Matt Mitovich, commenting on the Veronica Mars DVD Drive for Libraries, which has donated more than 400 season-one DVD sets of the TV series to libraries in all 50 states, TV, Aug. 23.

October 2006
AL cover
Stories inside include:

The Race for Readers: Enticing College Students to Read Books

Up On the Roof—with Poets

The Promise of
Web 2.0

Nov. 5–6:
Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science
. “What to Do with a Million Books.” Contact: DHCS Conference.

Nov. 6–9:
Harvard University Graduate School of Design Executive Education Program, Sacramento, California. “The Planning and Design of Public Libraries.” Contact: Harvard Office of Executive Education.

Nov. 6–17:
University of Maryland University College Center for Intellectual Property, Adelphi. “Copyright Education Programs: Teaching the Ethical and Legal Use of Information.” Contact: UMUC, 800-888-8682.

Nov. 8–11:
34th Museum Computer Network Conference,
Pasadena, California. “Access to Assets: Return on Investment.” Contact: MCN, 888-211-1477.

Nov. 13–17:
Results Boot Camp 2: A Five-Day Immersion Program, Nashville, Tennessee. Sponsored by the Public Library Association. Contact: PLA, 312-280-5027.

Nov. 13–Dec. 3:
Reference Interview. Offered by the Reference and User Services Association. Contact: Eileen Hardy, 312-280-4398.

Nov. 14–17:
International Reading Association, West Regional Conference, Hawai’i Island, Hawaii. Contact: IRA, 302-731-1600, ext. 293.

Nov. 28–30:
Gilbane Conference on Content Technologies, Boston, Westin Copley Place. Contact: Joe Richard, 781-821-6734.

Nov. 29-30:
South Carolina Library Association, Annual Conference, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Hilton Head. Contact: Gabrielle Barnes, 803-252-1087.

Feb. 16:
Online Northwest, Oregon State University, Corvallis. Contact: Jamie LeGore.

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