April 4,

U.S. & World News
ALA News
Booklist Online
D.C. Update
Division News
Round Table News
Seen Online
Tech Talk
Actions & Answers


Sponsor: Sirsi Dynix

U.S. & World News

Axed library media teachers protest reassignment
School librarians and their boosters are protesting a March 13 decision by the board of the Madera (Calif.) Unified School District to eliminate entirely as of the 2007–2008 academic year the category of library media teacher from its roster of certificated posts and to reassign to classrooms the four media specialists who serve MUSD’s three middle schools and two high schools....

An Unfinished Life coverSalt Lake County rescinds “One Book” selection, author invitation
Two weeks after he was notified in January that his 2004 novel An Unfinished Life had been selected by Salt Lake County (Utah) Library Services for its “One County, One Book” reading program, author Mark Spragg received an e-mail from the library informing him that the book’s selection and the library’s invitation to speak at an October event had been rescinded....

ALA News

TLA logoALA to co-sponsor advocacy programs at TLA Annual Conference
In partnership with Texas Library Association and Texas Woman’s University, ALA will co-sponsor two advocacy programs on Thursday, April 12, during TLA’s Annual Conference held April 11-14, in San Antonio. The programs—“The ABCs of Advocacy” and “Creating Advocacy Leaders: An Advocacy Institute Program”—are part of ALA’s Advocacy Institute initiative....

FBI Director questioned on misuse of NSLs
At a March 27 Federal Bureau of Investigation oversight hearing, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee asked sharp questions of FBI Director Robert Mueller. After opening remarks, the first question asked by Judiciary Chair Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to Mueller was about the number of “national security letters” (NSLs) served on libraries and other educational institutions. Mueller could not provide the number but promised Leahy he would provide the answer by the end of the week....
District Dispatch blog, Mar. 30

NASD Foundation logoALA and NASD Investor Education Foundation promote investor education in U.S. libraries
ALA and the NASD Investor Education Foundation announced today they are working together on a new grant program called “Smart Investing @ your library.” Through this program, they will help build the capacity of public libraries to provide effective, unbiased investor education. During the two-year pilot phase, a select group of libraries will be invited to compete for up to 12 grants that range in size from $5,000 to $100,000....

Measure your library with the Library Salary Database
The Library Salary Database is a new easy-to-use tool that gives you instant access to the most comprehensive and accurate source for library employee salary information from a trusted source -- the ALA-APA. The Salary Database is available via the Web, and features salary information from the most recently published ALA-APA annual salary surveys of library workers....

Today I Will Fly! coverFeatured review: Books for Youth
Willems, Mo. Today I Will Fly! Apr. 2007. 64p. Hyperion, hardcover (1-4231-0295-9).
Graphic novel influences have reached into most areas of children’s book publishing; here, they crop up in a classic genre—the friendship-duo easy reader—and chalk up yet another success for two-time Caldecott Honor winner Willems. The basic approach is familiar from Willems’s previous books, especially Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (2003). It’s as if each page were one frame of a comic strip, characters zip in and out of white space, proffer speech-bubble remarks, and express emotion through spot-on body language....

Frankenstein's monsterWill the real Mrs. Shelley please stand up?
Keir Graff writes: “Long story short: There’s long been suspicion that Mary Shelley, given her inability to follow it up with another worldwide bestseller, didn’t write Frankenstein. A guy named John Lauritsen, a Harvard-educated independent scholar, has a book about it called The Man Who Wrote Frankenstein.”...
Likely Stories blog, Mar. 30

@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....

D.C. Update

National Treasure posterMake your D.C. visit action-packed
Whether or not you were inspired by the 2004 Nicolas Cage thriller National Treasure, following his character’s path may be just the thing to get your heart racing. Look for clues at the National Archives, evade evildoers on the Metro rail system, unravel ancient conspiracies at the Library of Congress (naturally), and more....
Washington, DC Convention and Tourism Corporation

Division News

John Waters at ACRLACRL national conference draws record-breaking attendance
National Public Radio’s award-winning legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg closed the 13th national conference. More than 4,700 library staff, exhibitors, authors, and guests helped theconference bring more than $4.9 million dollars to the city of Baltimore, making it the 11th largest association convention scheduled to take place in 2007. More than 2,500 conference goers attended the Keynote Luncheon headlined by filmmaker John Waters....

Craig Gibson appointed editor to ACRL Publications in Librarianship
ACRL has announced the appointment of Craig Gibson to the post of editor for ACRL Publications in Librarianship. Gibson will serve a non-renewable five-year term beginning July 1, 2008. Gibson, associate university librarian for Research, Instructional and Outreach Services, George Mason University, succeeds Tony Schwartz as editor of this important series....

Top 10 assumptions for the future of academic libraries
ACRL unveiled its Top 10 assumptions for the future of academic and research libraries March 31 during the their 13th National Conference held March 29 to April 1 in Baltimore. The ACRL Research Committee developed the top ten assumptions after surveying member leaders and conducting a literature review. A podcast discussing the top ten assumptions is also available....

YALSA offers two preconferences before Annual Conference
YALSA is offering two preconferences June 22, prior to ALA’s Annual Conference in Washington: “Beginner’s Guide to Teens in Libraries” and “Sins of Young Adult Literature.” The purpose of the former preconference is to provide continuing education to help library workers who are not trained as young adult librarians interact with teens in a positive manner and to provide appropriate services and resources to teens....

Round Table News

International Leads reports from Palau (PDF file)
International Leads, the official publication of the International Relations Round Table (IRRT), disseminates information about international librarianship and the activities of the Round Table. The March issue includes reports on the recent Advocacy Workshop in Palau and the November 2006 Globenet conference in Sofia, Bulgaria....


ProQuest logoConnecticut John Does receive ProQuest-SIRS Award
Four Connecticut librarians known as the Connecticut John Does are the 2007 recipients of the ProQuest-SIRS State and Regional Achievement Award presented by ALA’s Intellectual Freedom Round Table. The award consists of a citation and $1,000 and recognizes successful and effective intellectual freedom coalitions or committees that have made a contribution to the freedom to read or to the intellectual freedom environment in which libraries function....

Applicants sought for LITA National Forum travel grant
LITA is calling for applicants for its 2007 LITA National Forum travel grant. The grant of $2,500, awarded to a librarian currently living and working in the Caribbean, will support and promote international attendance of LITA’s 10th National Forum held in Denver October 4–7.  Applications must be received by May 1, 2007....

Texas Book FestivalTexas Book Festival exceeds $2 million in grants
Now in its 12th year, the Texas Book Festival passed the $2 million mark in total grant funds awarded to Texas public libraries. In 2006 alone, the Texas Book Festival raised $200,000 and now those funds will be awarded to 60 libraries throughout the state. This years grant recipients will be announced on Friday, April 13th at the annual convention of the Texas Library Association in San Antonio....
Business Wire, Apr. 3

Seen Online

Senate extends funds for Jackson County libraries
A federal safety net that would help keep the libraries of Jackson County, Oregon, open received overwhelming support in the U.S. Senate Wednesday under a proposed five-year, $5 billion program. The Senate voted 75-22 for emergency funding for more than 700 counties in 39 states that benefitted from the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self Determination Act, passed in 2000 but not renewed last year....
Medford (Oreg.) Mail Tribune, Mar. 29

Cat and moneyIowa library’s cat biography sells for $1.25 million
In a hotly contested deal, the life story of Dewey, a rescued cat who lived for 19 years in a library in a small town in Iowa, has sold for about $1.25 million. With an eye toward creating the feline answer to the best-selling “Marley & Me,” John Grogan’s memoir of his misbehaving yellow Labrador retriever, Grand Central bought the book, currently titled Dewey, a Small Town, a Library and the World’s Most Beloved Cat on Monday by making an offer high enough to pre-emptively shut down an auction....
New York Times, Apr. 4

Librarians tackle information illiteracy
It came as no surprise to many of those attending the annual meeting of the Association of College and Research Libraries this weekend that the typical liberal arts freshman believes Time and Newsweek to be legitimate scholarly sources. Groans and laughter accompanied this and other non-surprising factoids—100% of incoming liberal arts freshmen surveyed use online sources, most think it’s easy to know when to document a source but nearly half couldn’t determine when one was required—that are familiar to anyone who works at a college library....
Inside Higher Ed, Apr. 2

UnisonLegal bid to halt Glasgow’s culture transfer plan
The transfer of Glasgow’s museums, libraries, and leisure centres to a charitable trust is facing an 11th-hour legal challenge, which could at least delay its implementation. Public-sector union Unison is using Victorian legislation on public libraries in its attempt to thwart the scheme, approved by Glasgow City Council in early February. It is arguing the council acted outside its authority in allowing the transfer of libraries to a trust....
The Herald (U.K.), Apr. 2

Rex LibrisWB booking a scribe for Rex Libris
Warner Bros. Pictures has hired Mark Burton to pen the bigscreen adaptation of James Turner’s comicbook Rex Libris, about an everyday guy who becomes part of a secret sect of librarians who battle forces of darkness in chasing down overdue or stolen books. The story revolves around head librarian Rex Libris, who must protect the world’s knowledge and most dangerous secrets from falling into the wrong hands....
Variety, Apr. 2

Libraries grow in digital age
Forget dusty card catalogs and shushing librarians. Walk into a Delaware library today and you can rent Casino Royale. You can bid on eBay while you scan Newsweek. You can borrow a CD of a novel or screen a foreign film. And, oh yeah, you can also check out a lot of books....
Wilmington Delaware News Journal, Mar. 31

StoryCorps logoStoryCorps podcast launches
StoryCorps, the ongoing oral history project that facilitates audio interviews between average Americans, has launched a free weekly podcast hosted by creator David Isay. Featuring the same stories heard on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, the podcast also includes a wealth of behind-the-scenes bonus material. Free subscriptions are now available....
StoryCorps, Mar. 30

Public porn ends in arrest on campus
Department of Public Safety and Eugene Police officers responded to a report of a transient man masturbating and viewing pornography on an open-access computer at the University of Oregon’s Knight Library around 9:30 p.m. on March 22, Eugene police said. A student assistant working at the Current Periodicals desk reported that a man using a public computer on the third floor was viewing pornography and masturbating....
Eugene (Oreg.) Daily Emereld, Apr. 4

Pike County Public Library designResidents fear library design doesn’t go by the book
An artist’s rendering of the proposed Pike County Public Library in Milford, Pennsylvania, is causing a stir among some residents, who say the modern design doesn’t mesh with the city’s storybook charm. “It’s not like we don’t want a library,” said Amy Eisenberg, a Milford resident, “We just want it to make sense.” Eisenberg said the design of the library will not fit in with other historic buildings that line the streets....
Hudson Valley (N.Y.) Times Herald-Record, Mar. 30

Click UniversitySLA’s Click Universitiy offers free business titles to members
Click University, the members-only online learning center of the Special Libraries Association, announced March 29 the availability electronically of nearly 1000 business titles through Ebrary....
Special Libraries Association, Mar. 29

British Library launches Spoken English website
Haps you’d like to record yourself having a blether with a friend, mebbe get your mam, grandfer or nana reminiscing, or you’d like to talk about somewhat else entirely. Celebrating the UK’s many different accents, dialects and vocabularies, Sounds Familiar is a unique new interactive website from the British Library. Users will be able to hear recordings of people from all over England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland—and children and young adults are being asked to add their own....
British Library , Mar. 28

Marlene DietrichJFK Library unseals Hemingway-Dietrich letters
The public can now ponder anew the affections and undercurrents that ran between two of the great figures of the 20th century when the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston unseals 30 letters from author Ernest Hemingway to actress Marlene Dietrich. The letters were given to the library’s Ernest Hemingway collection in 2003 by Dietrich’s daughter, Maria Riva, on the condition that they remain closed until now, giving the museum time to preserve them archivally....
New York Times, Mar. 29

Princess calls for more libraries
Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn yesterday expressed her concern that Thai children in rural areas did not have access to books because there were not enough libraries. The princess was speaking at the opening ceremony of Bangkok International Book Fair 2007 at the Queen Sirikit Convention Centre. Princess Sirindhorn emphasised a need to promote reading among children in the countryside, where access to books was still a problem because libraries were scarce....
The Nation (Thailand), Mar. 31

Beloved coverBeloved yanked from class
Eastern High student Leo Comerlato was just 30 pages from the end of Toni Morrison’s classic novel Beloved when his teacher told him to stop reading. Why? Because at least two parents had complained that the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about antebellum slavery depicted bestiality, racism and sex—inappropriate reading, they said, for 150 senior Advanced Placement English students....
Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal, Mar. 28

Boy buys and collects 141 books for library
Eleven-year-old Thor Vest can’t promise he’ll read all of the 141 books he donated to his school library. After all, Vest likes to read, he says, but “not at times I want to do other stuff.” Honest, mature, and pragmatic, the fifth-grader at Rees Elementary in Spanish Fork, Utah, said his main reason for donating the books last month was the empty shelves he spotted in the school's library. “I kind of did it because the school, they treat me so nice,” Vest said. “I wanted to give back.”...
Deseret (Utah) News, Apr. 3

Tech Talk

Public library geeks take Web 2.0 to the stacks
When the IT director at the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County (N.C.) began training staff in the latest web technologies, she lured reluctant participants with bribes—a free mp3 player and the chance to win a laptop. Six months later, the program they developed is the real prize. Learning 2.0, developed by public services technology director Helene Blowers, has become a surprise grassroots hit, available for free on the Web and adopted by dozens of other libraries around the globe....
Wired, Mar. 29

Bioscrypt imageWill your face be your next password?
In this video (1:26), Canadian company Bioscrypt claims an industry first with a desktop 3D face recognition camera. The goal: make your visage a fail-safe computer password by using an infrared grid to analyze and store the countours of your face....
C|net, Mar. 28

Internet agency turns down “.xxx” domain
The internet’s key oversight agency voted March 30 not to give adult websites their own “.xxx” domain, the third time it has rejected the idea. Many in the adult-entertainment industry and religious groups alike had criticized the plan. The Canadian government also warned this week that it could put the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers in the tricky business of content regulation, having to decide which sites are pornographic and which are not....
Associated Press, Mar. 30

Blackboard logoBlackboard problems leave Vista on probation
On college campuses, Microsoft’s Vista operating system may be in danger of failing courses that use Blackboard, a key software program for communication between teachers and students. Some campuses in the U.S. and elsewhere using Blackboard are discovering that the software and some of its functionality is being hindered as students and teachers begin to update their systems with Microsoft Vista....
PC Mag, Mar. 29

Musicians: Keep the Web neutral
Independent, lesser-known musicians and smaller record labels launched the nationwide Rock the Net campaign March 27 to support the idea that all internet traffic should be treated equally, which they said is under fire from internet providers who want to charge a fee to have some websites load faster than others. The musicians are fearful that if the so-called “net neutrality” principle is abandoned their music may not be heard because they do not have the financial means to pay for preferential treatment....
CNN, Mar. 28

Linux logoLinux to help the Library of Congress save American history
The Library of Congress, where thousands of rare public domain documents relating to America’s history are stored and slowly decaying, is about to begin an ambitious project to digitize these fragile documents using Linux-based systems and publish the results online in multiple formats. Thanks to a $2-million grant from the Sloan Foundation, “Digitizing American Imprints at the Library of Congress” will begin the task of digitizing these rare materials....
Linux, Mar. 28

Putting the world’s books on the Web
Two years ago, Google began scanning hundreds of thousands of books and making their contents available on the Web. Could this signal the end of libraries as we know them? Librarians are not famous for spontaneous displays of emotion, but on this morning Sarah Thomas is an exception. “The digitization of books will accelerate the emergence of new knowledge tremendously,” says the 58-year-old director of the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library....
Spiegel Online (Germany), Mar. 28

cassetteNational Library Service produces its last cassette book machine
The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress, produced its last analog cassette book machine on February 17, signaling the advent of Digital Talking Books. During a ceremony held March 1 in Blue Earth, Minnesota, Telex Communications, Inc presented NLS with the milestone player—the 1,248,113th manufactured by the company since 1983....
Library of Congress, Mar. 16

NetLibraryNetLibrary launches collection of eAudiobook Subject Sets
OCLCs NetLibrary, the leading platform for full-text digital content in libraries worldwide, has launched its first collection of eAudiobook Subject Sets for the U.S. library market. eAudiobook Subject Sets are bundled sets of high-demand titles, each set offered at a fixed price.  This new collection of Subject Sets is available to all library types through NetLibrary's eAudiobook purchase program....
OCLC, Apr. 2

Actions & Answers

OCLC/GoogleFool-a-palooza 2007
Google buys OCLC!? Even web-savvy librarians fall prey to the occasional April 1 “breaking news” item. While OCLC, Andrew Pace, and Karen Schneider furthered the coverage of the shocking buyout, “ALA Online” broke the news of the Library of Congress outsourcing cataloging functions to Google. Meanwhile, Gmail users were thrilled to learn about their email service’s new Google Paper function, and Google searchers were astounded by the company’s new toilet-controlled broadband service (and check out those unusual “404 File Not Found” messages). Finally, the University of Michigan-Dearborn’s Mardigian Library proudly announced their removal of all books....
TechSource blog, Apr.1; It’s All Good blog, Apr.1; Hectic Pace blog, Apr. 1; Free Range Librarian blog, Apr. 1; Google, Apr. 1; Dearborn Michigan Journal, Mar. 27

Police recover hundreds of stolen rare books
Police have recovered more than 400 rare books stolen from a Madison, New Hampshire, estate last month. Police Chief John Pickering says investigators were led to the 443 books, in Madison, by a tip last week. The books included works from the 17th and 18th centuries....
Burlington (Vt.) WCAX, Mar. 28

Libraries at the cutting edge
The trendiest meeting place on many college campuses these days features a coffee bar, wireless internet zones, free entertainment and special programs, modern lounge area, and meeting rooms. And free access to books. Lots of books. This educational social hub is the campus library, which is beginning to look more like an internet café than the academic library you remember from your college days....
Inside Higher Ed, Mar. 29

Poet's CornerThomson Gale creates Poet’s Corner for National Poetry Month
To help celebrate National Poetry Month, Thomson Gale has created Poet’s Corner, a free website of poetry resources to help students, teachers, and poetry lovers worldwide get the most out of National Poetry Month. The website includes a downloadable calendar highlighting key moments throughout poetry’s history, a downloadable screensaver, bookmarks, and a unique free poster....
Thomson Gale, Mar. 30

Libraries close their books
Coburg Senior High School in Australia is a school with an eye on the future, where students download podcasts of their classes and relax over caffe lattes. It is also a school without a library. For the 50 year-10 students who started at the new school this year, finding information is just a matter of stepping up to one of many computers dotted around the school and logging on....
Melbourne (Australia) The Age, Mar. 26

Rafter Romance imageSix films return to the RKO fold
(Registration required)
After much sleuthing and restoration, Turner Classic Movies is unveiling six “lost” films from the RKO library. Caught up in a legal tangle that involved King Kong creator Merian C. Cooper and then largely forgotten, the films haven’t been seen in some 50 years. The search for the films began last April....
Los Angeles Times, Apr. 1

The public library as an asylum for the homeless
Chip Ward writes: “When her ‘nobody there’ conversation disturbs the reader seated beside her, Ophelia turns, chuckles at the woman’s discomfort, and explains, ‘Don’t mind me, I'm dead. It’s okay. I’ve been dead for some time now.’ Scenes from a psych ward? Not at all. Welcome to the Salt Lake City Public Library. Like every urban library in the nation, the City Library, as it is called, is a de facto daytime shelter for the city’s ‘homeless.’...
TomDispatch blog, Apr. 3

Fiona: Flying LibrarianFiona: Flying Librarian
Author Sue Alexander pens a high-flying librarian-themed children’s short story for the Los Angeles Times: “Fiona is the librarian at Centertown Elementary School. She is a very good librarian. She makes sure that her library has books the students will like, as well as books to help them do their reports. Fiona is also a very good pilot. She can fly a plane higher and faster and straighter than anyone in the universe.”...
Los Angeles Times, Apr. 1

Heart of the Community coverHeart of the Community calendar accepting nominations (PDF file)
The 2007 book Heart of the Community: The Libraries We Love is being followed up by a full-color Libraries We Love 2008 calendar. If your favorite library meets the selection criteria, nomination forms are now available and will be accepted through April 15....
Berkshire Publishing, Mar. 30

Blind advocates protest in Tallahassee
About 50 advocates for the blind and visually impaired planned to converge on the Florida capitol March 22 with a mission to lobby for more services and protest legislation. Wielding white-tipped canes and aided by service dogs, the group hoped to help defeat a bill that would make it more difficult for blind students in public schools to get Braille instruction. Meanwhile, over 100 blind children protested in Britain over similar complaints....
Ft. Myers (Fla.) News-Press, Mar. 22 ; Evening News (Scotland), Mar. 28

SERU releases recommended practices draft
The National Information Standards Organization Shared E-Resource Understanding (SERU) Working Group has posted the first public draft best practices document (PDF file). This document, “The SERU Approach to E-Resource Subscriptions: Framework for Development and Use of SERU,” presents a shared set of understandings to which publishers and libraries can point when negotiating the sale of electronic content....
National Information Standards Organization, Mar. 15

The YouTube defense
Slate’s Andrew K. Woods discusses the influence of viral video websites like YouTube on establishing a social context for human rights lawsuits: “YouTube and its ilk mean that today anyone can tell human rights stories . . . if the stories are told with enough brio and skill, the public will pay attention, and the government may be more likely to respond. Critics pooh-pooh the importance of all of this by pointing to the fact that civil rights advocates have traditionally had a friend in the press. But they’re missing the point: YouTube goes where the mainstream media can’t or won’t go.”...
Slate, Mar. 28

Used books often hide other treasures
Betsy Hamill of Mansfield Center is president of the Friends group at Mansfield Public Library. Twice a year, the Friends hold a book sale, and over the years, Hamill and her cohorts have found personal letters, valentines, used engagement calendars, photographs, and pressed flowers in books. “I find it rather touching,” she said....
Norwich (Conn.) Bulletin, Mar. 27

CyberCemeteryCyberCemetery, archiving lost websites
When agencies lose federal funding, websites disappear without notice. But librarians at the University of North Texas want the information on those sites to be preserved. So they created CyberCemetery. Listen to the NPR report (1:xx) or hear the uncut version—and read the transcript—at Texas public radio affiliate KERA....
NPR, Mar. 10; KERA, Feb. 16

Captain Nye imageLife on the Ohio and Erie Canal documented online
Through recordings, letters, and photographs, the online presentation “Captain Pearl R. Nye: Life on the Ohio and Erie Canal” offers a look at a way of life that was eventually supplanted by the railroad. Through Captain Nye’s letters and songs, the presentation captures the culture and music of the men, women, and children who worked and lived along the Ohio and Erie Canal....
Library of Congress, Apr. 2

Woman's feetMan caught videotaping women’s feet at California library
A man was surreptitiously videotaping female feet in the science library at University of California, Santa Cruz, campus police said. “Officers indicated he was embarrassed by his behavior,” university spokesman Jim Burns said Monday. “He offered no resistance to the request that he leave immediately and indicated he would not be back.”...
KTRK Houston, Mar. 29


Annual Conference 2007 logo

Is accessibility a concern for you? Find out how to meet your communication or physical requirements.

Serving Teens cover

Getting teens to read for fun is the ultimate challenge, yet research shows that it improves skills in grammar and spelling while expanding vocabularies.
Serving Teens Through Readers' Advisory addresses teens’ unique needs with practical tools that help Readers’ Advisors.
NEW! From ALA Editions.

ALA Blogging logo

Whether you’re speaking at, blogging, or just attending the Annual Conference, let your colleagues know by downloading these buttons to include on your website or blog.

In this issue
April 2007

Current AL cover

Chicago Public Library’s Building Renaissance

2007 Library Design Showcase

Building Libraries versus Schools

Human Error: When Good Intentions Meet Bad Planning

From the CentenniAL Blog

ALA Bulletin 1932

The Women Who Came First. In the beginning there was no editor—at least none anyone felt was worth naming in the issues of the Bulletin of the American Library Association (precursor to American Libraries) published from the first issue in 1907 to 1931. One can only assume that it was those much maligned, bun-toting spinsters of early librarianship who dutifully recorded the activities of ALA for the first quarter-century of the magazine’s tenure as “official organ,” a disconcerting moniker that ALA Policy 10.2—written before there was an internet—still forces us to carry....

AL 100 logo

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Assistant Librarian
(Reference Services),
Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Seeking candidate with the ability to work both independently and collegially in a demanding and rapidly changing environment; excellent interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills; demonstrated ability to provide library instruction and reference services....

@ More jobs...

keyboard graphic

Visit the ALA Social Network on Ning, where Jenny Levine posts about the “Mattering in the Blogosphere” feature in the March AL: “Unfortunately, print is very limiting when it comes to being able to represent the biblioblogosphere, which is why the article could only include 10 bloggers. Here online, though, we don’t have the same limitations.”... Get involved in the discussion.

John Waters

Following his speech at the ACRL conference, filmmaker John Waters sat down and recorded an audio interview (20 min.) with ACRL President Pam Snelson and others to discuss the bookstore jobs he’s held, his controversial “Hooked on Books” campaign idea, stealing library books as a youth, and, of course, scrotums. Find more ACRL coverage at ACRLog.

Public Perception
How the World
Sees Us

Only the librarians ever fought them. No bank or telephone company would say ‘no’ when an agent comes in and says this is needed for a national security investigation. ”

—James Dempsey, policy director of the Center for Democracy and Technology on the reported FBI abuses of the U.S. Patriot Act, Associated Press, Mar. 30.

Donation letter

“P.S.—We made this money by sellng candy.” That’s how two children ended the note they sent along with their $10.62 donation to ALA’s Hurricane Katrina Relief. $447,000 has been raised so far, but donations are still needed.


Results of the
March 28 poll:

How much of your professional reading is done online?

None: 6 (3%)

1-30%: 56 (30%)

31-70%: 84 (46%)

71-99%: 37 (20%)

(184 responses)

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

Ask the ALA Librarian


Q. Hooray! Our budget was approved for new library automation software. But where do I start? What do I buy? Who are the main vendors? What is a Request for Proposal (RFP) and how do I write one?

A. You can start with ALA Library Fact Sheet 21, Automating Libraries and Virtual Reference: A Selected Annotated Bibliography which lists both online and print resources that give you an overall look at the various library automation choices. The more information that you have, the easier it will be to write the RFP and then decide what would be best for your library. See more at the ALA Professional Tips wiki.

The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.


Apr. 27–28:
Bath Book Fair, Bath, United Kingdom. Contact: Chris Phillips, +44-0-12-2574-2755.

Apr. 27–29: Access to Knowledge (A2K) Conference, New Haven, Connecticut. Contact: Eddan Katz, 203-432-4830.

Apr. 29–May 1: Canadian Learning Commons Conference, Vancouver, “Continuing the Conversation.” Contact: Angela Raasch, 604-291-4084.

Apr. 29–May 2: VISTI Conference, Costa Brava, Spain. Contact: InternetConferences.

Apr. 30: Library Assessment: Using Data to Make Decisions, New York. Contact: Metropolitan New York Library Council, 212-228-2320.

Apr. 30–May 1: Annual Preservation Conference, Adelphi, Maryland, “Managing the Intangible: Creating, Storing and Retrieving Digital Surrogates of Historical Materials.” Contact: Richard Schneider, 301-837-3617.

May 2–3: Amigos Annual Member Conference, Dallas. Contact: Amigos Library Services, 1-800-843-8482.

May 2–4: Best Practices Exchange 2007, Chandler, Arizona, “Libraries and Archives in the Digital Era.” Contact: Sara Muth, 602-542-4359.

May 2–5: Annual Association for Recorded Sound Collections Conference, Milwaukee, “Victorians and Their Music Machines.” Contact: Kurt Nauck, 281-288-7826.

May 3–4: LOEX (Library Orientation Exchange) Conference, San Diego, “Uncharted Waters: Tapping the Depths of Our Community to Enhance Learning.” Contact: Tracey Mayfield.

May 7–8: Mid-Atlantic Library Futures Conference, Atlantic City, New Jersey, “Imagination to Transformation.” Contact: Mark Amorosi, 609-943-5189.

@ More...

Contact Us
American Libraries Direct

AL Direct is a free electronic newsletter e-mailed every Wednesday to personal members of the American Library Association.

George M. Eberhart,

Daniel Kraus,
Associate Editor:

Greg Landgraf,
Editorial Assistant:

Karen Sheets,
Graphics and Design:

Leonard Kniffel,
American Libraries:

To advertise in American Libraries Direct, contact:
Brian Searles,

Send feedback:


AL Direct FAQ:

All links outside the ALA website are provided for informational purposes only. Questions about the content of any external site should be addressed to the administrator of that site.

American Libraries
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
ext. 4216

ISSN 1559-369X.