The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | December 5,

U.S. & World News
ALA News
AL Focus
Booklist Online
Philadelphia Update
Division News
Round Table News
Seen Online
Tech Talk
Actions & Answers


AL Buyers Guide

U.S. & World News

Poster for upcoming The Golden Compass movieThe Golden Compass accused of anti-Catholic bias
Several Toronto-area Catholic school boards in Ontario have removed Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass fantasy novel from library shelves for review following a complaint in the municipality of Halton in late November. The novel and its two companions in the “His Dark Materials” trilogy are receiving heightened scrutiny for their allegedly anti-Catholic content prior to the December 7 U.S. release of The Golden Compass movie (right) starring Nicole Kidman and Donald Craig. ALA President Loriene Roy issued a statement December 4 urging libraries to resist calls for censoring the books or boycotting the film....

Cover of The Last Book in the UniverseBook talk flap followed by librarian’s dismissal
Bellevue (Calif.) Unified School District Superintendent Tony Roehrick terminated the library consultant contract of Richie Partington November 21, two days after Partington declined to discuss with Kawana School Principal Jesse Escobedo the merits of The Last Book in the Universe until after Escobedo read the book. The termination came six weeks after Partington, a member of the 2008–09 ALSC Caldecott Committee, became the first professional librarian to serve the 58-year-old K–6 district in at least a decade. He announced the action on several library discussion lists, triggering a flood of protest letters to the district....

Cover of Joyce Carol Oates's SexySexy stirs mixed feelings in Montana
A materials reconsideration committee at Jefferson High School in Boulder, Montana, voted 4–1 November 27 to retain Joyce Carol Oates’s Sexy in the school-library collection, declining a request by an English teacher on the faculty there to have the book removed. Complainant Victoria Foster had filed an objection this fall after a student brought the book to her attention, directing her to chapter seven “and that the f-word came up quite a bit.”...

Ottawa’s outrage may save 10 branches
The board of Ottawa (Ont.) Public Library reversed course November 26, opting not to support a plan trustees floated just a few weeks earlier to close 10 branches, cut hours from the remaining branches, and freeze the collection budget to meet a proposed $3.2-million budget cut. The board had originally proposed the plan to meet the library’s share of $152 million in citywide cuts proposed by Mayor Larry O’Brien to keep his campaign pledge of freezing property taxes for four years....

Branch’s future uncertain after mold destroys collection
The board of Lenawee County (Mich.) Library voted 4–1 November 20 to dispose of the entire collection of 8,760 books and 2,054 magazines in the Ridgeway branch because they have been contaminated by mold. Teresa Calderone, director of the system since August 1, told American Libraries she discovered the problem on her first visit to the branch shortly after she was hired. She found the building in such poor condition that books had become moist and were molding....

MaintainIT ad
ALA News

Image from ALA's DTV flierALA and the FCC team up for Digital TV Transition Week
This week, December 1–7, is Digital Television (DTV) Transition Week in America’s public libraries. Through a partnership with ALA, the FCC is conducting informational sessions at local public libraries across the country about the transition from analog to digital broadcast television by February 2009. Reforma’s Betty Valdés spoke at the FCC on December 4 on the role of libraries in supporting the Spanish-speaking community during the DTV transition. ALA is also joining forces with the Association of Public Television Stations to launch a grassroots outreach effort to educate consumers about the rapidly approaching transition. ALA President Loriene Roy discusses DTV in this Washington Office podcast (7:22)....

Radical Militant Librarian button summarizes the work of the OIFHappy birthday, OIF!
The Office for Intellectual Freedom turned 40 years old December 1. Its mission is to implement “ALA policies concerning the concept of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights, the Association’s basic policy on free access to libraries and library materials . . . [and to] . . . educate librarians and the general public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries.”...
ALA Marginalia blog, Dec. 1

Regina CarterJazz violin virtuoso to headline Curley Memorial Lecture
The 9th Annual Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture promises to be one of the highlights of the ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. Grammy-nominated jazz violinist Regina Carter, described by Time magazine as “taking the listener into the future of jazz,” will add a new chapter to the lecture’s history of distinguished guests when she appears at 1:30 p.m. January 12, in the Lecture Hall at the Pennsylvania Convention Center....

ALA election opens March 17
For the fifth year, ALA will hold its election online. All paid ALA members as of January 31, 2008, are eligible to vote in the 2008 election. Polls will open March 17. Paper ballots will be sent to ALA members who do not have a valid e-mail address, or request a paper ballot prior to March 3....

Prime Time Family Reading Time logoThree states, two library systems ready for Prime Time
Prime Time, an affiliate of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, in cooperation with the ALA Public Programs Office, has selected public libraries in Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and New York to participate in the national expansion of the award-winning family reading and discussion program, Prime Time Family Reading Time. National expansion of Prime Time at these libraries will target Spanish-speaking families and is made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities....

Apply for the Great Stories Club
Applications from all types of libraries for the Great Stories Club will be accepted through February 1. Funding has been provided by a grant from Oprah’s Angel Network. The Great Stories Club is a reading and discussion program designed to reach underserved, troubled teen populations through books that are relevant to their lives....

Idearc mural painter painting Baldwin apples at the Wilming Memorialk Library children's roomIdearc-ALA renovation in Massachusetts
For the first time since it opened in 1969, the children’s area of the Wilmington (Mass.) Memorial Library received a thorough renovation in November, thanks to volunteers from Idearc Media, home to and publisher of the Verizon Yellow Pages. Idearc is partnering with ALA to refurbish reading areas in public libraries. The library is holding a grand reopening party for the room December 10....

AL Focus

Still from video showing Anaheim airportsWelcome to Anaheim: ALA Annual Conference 2008 preview
Thinking about attending Annual Conference in Anaheim, California? After this rollercoaster ride of a preview (6:44), you won’t be able to resist. Several Orange County librarians tell us about the area’s obvious draws (Disneyland, shopping, the beaches) as well as some attractions you might not know about—including a beautiful library or two. Also covered: your airport options, public transportation and hotel availability, and some adventurous daytrips. We’ll see you in Anaheim June 26–July 2, 2008!...

Booklist Online logo

Cover of Saturday's ChildFeatured review: Adult books
Banks, Ray. Saturday’s Child. Jan. 2008. 320p. Harcourt, hardcover (978-0-15-101322-7).

One British newspaper has referred to Banks (The Big Blind, 2004) as a member of the “post-Rankin generation.” Although we don’t like to think of Rankin in past tense, there clearly is a new pot of crime writers on the boil. Banks reads like Ken Bruen and Allan Guthrie stirred with Bill James and Irvine Welsh. Saturday’s Child is a skinned-knuckle crime story set in the cold and dour north of England: Cal Innes has been paroled from prison in Manchester and is going straight-ish, working as a private investigator from the gym of his patron, Paulo. But when his parole officer, DS Donkin, likes Cal for a crime he didn’t commit, and a crime boss, Morris Tiernan, calls in a favor Cal doesn’t owe, suddenly a life of crime seems the only way to avoid doing more hard time....

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

Philadelphia Update

RMG’s Annual President’s Seminar
“Checks and Balances in the ILS Industry: Founders’ Values, Investors’ Interests, Open Source ILSs” is the topic of RMG Consultants’ 18th Annual Presidents’ Seminar: The View from the Top, to be held in Room 103C, Philadelphia Convention Center, Friday, January 11, 2–5 p.m. The panel will include chief executives of major integrated library system companies....
RMG Consultants

Betsy Ross House, PhiladelphiaHistoric Philadelphia
It’s just one square mile, but the area between Front to 7th Streets and Spruce to Race Streets covers three different neighborhoods, all jam-packed with restaurants, galleries, shops, and attractions. Each puts its own distinctive spin on history. And together, they make up Historic Philadelphia....
Go Philly

Obnoxious hidden airline fees
George Hobica writes: “The airlines often try lining their coffers by coming up with a slew of obnoxious extra charges. Whatever additional costs these services could possibly impose on the airlines are clearly lower than what passengers pay. Read on for the 10 most egregious examples.”...
MSNBC, Dec. 2

Division News

RDA logoRDA task force to develop implementation plan
The RDA (Resource Description and Access) Implementation Task Force was created by the ALCTS Cataloging and Classification Section in the spring of 2007. The task force, chaired by Shawne Miksa of the University of North Texas Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences, is slated to complete its work by the 2009 Annual Conference....

Graph showing LMS and total LMC staff hours per typical week, 2007AASL’s longitudinal survey report
AASL has released the results of its first longitudinal survey, School Libraries Count! (PDF file). The survey, conducted January–March 2007, gathered data in a number of areas, including library staff, collections, technology, class visits, and budgets. AASL will be using the data to develop tools to help library media specialists advocate at the local, state, and national level....

SPARC-ACRL Forum on student engagement
The 16th SPARC-ACRL Forum, “Working with the Facebook Generation: Engaging Student Views on Access to Scholarship,” will be held at the Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia on January 12. Cosponsored by SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and ACRL, the semiannual forum focuses on emerging issues in scholarly communication....

Teen Tech Week minigrants
YALSA will award up to 20 minigrants, consisting of $450 cash and $50 worth of Teen Tech Week products, to librarians who plan to offer inventive activities, resources, and services to celebrate Teen Tech Week, March 2–8....

ALCTS Midwinter forums
ALCTS will offer a stellar lineup of provocative forums at the Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, ranging from the LC Working Group Report to the IMLS “Connecting to Collections” initiative and new roles for acquisitions. Find out more in the ALCTS Newsletter Online....

RUSA Business Reference 101
Learn the basics of business reference and research during Business Reference 101, a four-week online course offered by RUSA, January 28–February 22. The course is designed to teach the basics of business reference and the process of business research to library staff, library school students, international information professionals, and researchers....

RUSA to offer five online courses in the spring
RUSA is presenting five internet-based courses that offer training in specialized areas of reference and user services. The topics include business reference, genealogy, marketing basics, readers’ advisory, and the reference interview....

ACRL/LAMA call for proposals
Don’t miss the opportunity to play an active part in the 2008 ACRL/LAMA Joint Virtual Institute, “Leading from the Middle: Managing in All Directions.” Submit a proposal now for an interactive webcast or online poster session. Submissions will be accepted through Monday, December 10. The institute, to be offered April 29–30, 2008, will offer a forum for the exploration of issues and challenges facing middle managers and leaders....
Leads from LAMA blog, Dec. 3

Round Table News

earth sproutingSRRT on the Environment (PDF file)
Join members of the Social Responsibilities Round Table Task Force on the Environment’s Environment and Literacy Discussion Group in Philadelphia January 14 to learn about writing nature journals as a means for children to record their words, ideas, pictures, and feelings about the environments where they live, work, and play. Discussion leaders include Doug Wechsler, director of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia; Mark Baldwin, director of education for the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History; and Andy Boyles, science editor, Boyds Mill Press....
SRRT Newsletter, no. 160/161 (Dec. 2007): 7


Box for 1701 A.D. gameGreat Interactive Software for Kids 2008
ALSC has selected its Fall 2007 list of Great Interactive Software for Kids, which recognizes high-quality computer programs and digital media for children 14 years of age and younger. Among them are 1701 A.D. (right), Big Brain Academy, Crazy Machines 1.5, Nancy Drew: The Creature of Kapu Cave, and Snapshot Adventures: Secret of Bird Island....

RUSA awards reception at Midwinter
The RUSA Collection Development and Evaluation Section is hosting its annual Awards Recognition Reception, 4–6 p.m. on January 13 in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. Attendees are invited to join colleagues and members of the publishing industry at a cocktail reception honoring the best literature of the year for adult readers and in reference....

Big Read logoTime to apply for the Big Read
The Institute of Museum and Library Services, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, has announced the fourth deadline for the Big Read program. The purpose of the Big Read is to revitalize the role of literature in American popular culture. Grants ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 are available to encourage local communities to inspire reading through the Big Read program. This will be the only application deadline in 2008....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Nov. 30

Fired West Virginia archivist receives award
Members of the West Virginia Historical Society honored Fred Armstrong with the Virgil A. Lewis award December 2. Armstrong was the West Virginia archivist director before losing his job last month. In 1992 the Virgil A. Lewis Award was established by WVHS to be given each year to the party or parties making the greatest contribution to West Virginia history....
WSAZ-TV, Huntington, W.Va., Dec. 2

AL Buyers Guide
Seen Online

Cover of King & KingKing and King still reigns in Lower Macungie
The board of directors of the Lower Macungie (Pa.) Library on November 29 for the second time denied a couple’s request to remove the children’s book King and King by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland. The book will remain on the shelf despite the complaints of John and Eileen Issa and about 40 other residents who think its homosexual content is inappropriate....
Allentown (Pa.) Morning Call, Nov. 30

Youniquely 4 U logoFlorida library offers commercial coupons
On December 1, the Leesburg (Fla.) Public Library kicked off a program to link patrons with community vendors and activities. The program, Youniquely 4 U, is free for anyone who holds a Lake County Library card, and it offers personal recommendations and coupons based on what a library patron checks out, drawing from general categories of the patron's book or video selections to suggest similar events or businesses....
Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel, Dec. 2

Copper thieves close down Houston library for a day
The Julia Ideson Building, which houses reference and circulation services for the Houston Central Library while it is under renovation, reopened December 4 following repairs to electrical wiring left damaged by copper thieves. Early the previous morning, intruders cut the wiring leading to the generator and emergency panel for the downtown library complex. Copper thefts in the Houston area have been on the upswing as prices for the metal increased to as much as $4 a pound a year ago....
Houston Chronicle, Dec. 4

Kid tries out homemade bomb at Princeton library
A 12-year-old boy terrified patrons at the Princeton (N.J.) Public Library December 1 by exploding a homemade bomb inside the building. The bomb did not cause any injuries or fire, but it sent a deafening explosion through the library, police said. The boy learned how to make the bomb by watching a video on YouTube....
Trenton (N.J.) Times, Dec. 4

Martin Waldseemüller’s 1507 world mapWaldseemüller map a puzzle for researchers
The only surviving copy of the 500-year-old map that first used the name America goes on permanent display December 13 at the Library of Congress, but even as it prepares for its debut, the 1507 Martin Waldseemüller map remains a puzzle for researchers. Why did the mapmaker name the territory America and then change his mind later? How was he able to draw South America so accurately? Why did he put a huge ocean west of America years before European explorers discovered the Pacific?...
Reuters, Dec. 3; Library of Congress, Nov. 29; New York Times Magazine, Dec. 2

Jamaica Plain branch of the Boston Public LibraryJamaica Plain conditions a result of Menino-Margolis dispute?
Boston’s Jamaica Plain branch was forced to close briefly this month when its heating system failed—just one case of conditions that patrons say leave them freezing, boiling, or wet in the aging building. The building is slated for major renovation and expansion, but that is years away. The backdrop for the discussion is a leadership change at the Boston Public Library, which reportedly will result in an increased focus on the neighborhood branch libraries....
Jamaica Plain (Mass.) Gazette, Nov. 30

Bush mug shot image from "Line Up"Politically charged prints cause talk at NYPL
Controversy has erupted on the third floor of the New York Public Library, where “Line Up,” a series of politically inflammatory digital prints by the team of Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese, is on display. Each print is a mugshot-style diptych in which a member of the Bush administration appears in profile and face forward, holding a police identification sign and the date on which he or she made a statement of questionable veracity relating to Iraq. YouTube has the video (6:29) that accompanies the display....
New York Times, Dec. 4; YouTube

Florida Library Association poster advocating for public librariesAdvocates stump for Florida libraries
Library advocates were in Tallahassee November 29 to bring awareness to the cause. The Florida Library Association held a news conference at the Leon County Public Library to call for continued funding and support of library services. New property-tax laws have led to budget and program cuts at libraries across the state. And county officials say more cuts could come next year if voters pass a constitutional amendment January 29 to double the homestead exemption. FLA has printed posters (right) and bookmarks to publicize the issue....
Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat, Dec. 2; Florida Library Association

Diane Schroer. Courtesy of the ACLUJudge rejects motion to dismiss CRS transgender discrimination case
A federal judge November 28 denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit charging that the Library of Congress engaged in sex discrimination in 2004 by refusing to hire a transgendered woman as an antiterrorism expert for the Congressional Research Service despite her recognized qualifications for the job. United States District Court Judge James Robertson ruled that former U.S. Army Special Forces Officer Diane Schroer has legal grounds to file a sex discrimination claim against the library under the Civil Rights Act of 1964....
Washington (D.C.) Blade, Nov. 29

Former library director found guilty of theft
Judge Robert Lavery, although perplexed at the cost of upholstering a chair, convicted a former library official of theft. Magdaline Engle, former director of the Rodman Public Library in Alliance, Ohio, will start serving her 10 days in jail January 17. Lavery found her guilty of stealing four chairs from the facility, and having them reupholstered and delivered to her home at the library’s expense. She told Lavery it was her intention to reimburse the library for the $2,088 cost....
Alliance (Ohio) Review, Dec. 1

Gunpowder Plot book sold at auctionGunpowder Plot “skin” book sold
A private buyer paid £5,400 ($11,100 U.S.) at a December 2 auction for a book alleged to be bound in the skin of a Jesuit priest executed over the 1605 Gunpowder Plot. The macabre lot, deemed “a bit spooky” by auctioneer Sid Wilkinson of Doncaster, South Yorkshire, has the mysterious image of a face on the cover, said to be that of Father Henry Garnet. A True And Perfect Relation of the Whole Proceedings against the Late Most Barbarous Traitors, Garnet a Iesuite and His Confederats [sic] was printed by Robert Barker, printer to the king, and published in 1606, only months after Garnet’s execution....
BBC News, Nov. 27, Dec. 3

H.W. Wilson ad
Tech Talk

Hectic Pace logoE-book malaise
Andrew Pace writes: “One of the phrases that I used to use about e-books is ‘the second mouse always gets the cheese.’ I thought that for sure early failures in e-book devices would lead to the perfect handheld device, software that made digital reading a pleasure, and a DRM acceptable to most libraries—or at least their patrons. I sincerely thought that by now we would have a device that smelled like a paperback, and we still don’t have anything that even feels like one.”...
Hectic Pace, Dec. 3

Edit your photos directly in Flickr
Popular photo sharing website Flickr has partnerted with online image editing website Picnik to integrate photo editing directly in your Flickr account. To use it, just log into your Flickr account, click on a picture, and then click the new Edit Photo button. When you do, you'll be asked if you want to enable Picnik to open. It allows you to crop, rotate, resize, sharpen, correct red-eye, and tons more from the comfort of your Flickr account....
Lifehacker, Dec. 4

Still from Bubble 2.0: The VideoBubble 2.0: The video
The Richter Scales offer an amusing video (2:43), “Here Comes Another Bubble,” that describes the current state of web technology to the tune of “We Didn’t Start the Fire”: Need a good domain name / Must be cheap, can’t be lame / Something cool like flickr, meebo, / wikiyou, mahalo, bebo....
YouTube, Dec. 3

A big list of sites that teach you how to do stuff
Josh Catone writes: “The Web offers a large number of helpful sites that teach you how to do things. These are do-it-yourself sites, but we’re not talking about building a deck or baking a cake. In this horribly-titled, but hopefully useful round-up we will specifically focus on such general-purpose sites that include some sort of rich media instruction (generally video).”...
Read/Write Web, Nov. 28

Faster data entry in Excel
Anytime you can enter data without having to type it yourself, you improve accuracy and save yourself effort. There are plenty of opportunities in Excel to enter data in a faster and smarter way than via the keyboard. Helen Bradley offers a few tips on custom-fill lists, drop downs, and forms....
PC Magazine, Nov. 14 logo chef50 more things to do with Google Maps mashups
Mike Pegg has come up with another set of ways to use Google Maps creatively, among them: find a Wi-Fi hotspot in the U.S., find a public toilet, explore and map the Bible, find a U.S. mailbox, find a place to eat, find out who is sick around you, and make your own map....
Google Maps Mania, Dec. 3

Special characters in HTML and XHTML
Elizabeth Castro offers a set of tables containing the 252 allowed special characters in HTML 4 and XHTML 1.0, as described in section 24 of the official HTML 4 specifications. Keep this handy if you are coding accented characters, punctuation, math, or Greek....
World Wide Web Consortium

Actions & Answers

Cover of To Read or Not To ReadTo Read or Not to Read skews its data
Nancy Kaplan points out that the National Endowment for the Arts has distorted the data it used in its recent report, which concluded that reading proficiency is declining and the number of people who choose to read books in their leisure time is also declining: “Despite the numerous charts, graphs, and tables in To Read or Not to Read, a careful and responsible reading of the complete data provided by the National Assessment of Educational Progress and the National Assessments of Adult Literacy undermine the conclusions the NEA draws.”...
if:book, Nov. 30

LC report available for comment
You can now read and comment on the draft final report (PDF file) of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control. The period for public comment on the report is open until December 15. Comments can be submitted via the website. Electronic submission of comments is encouraged. The group intends to submit the final report to the Library of Congress by January 9, 2008....
LC Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control, Nov. 30

OCLC WorldMapThe OCLC WorldMap
The OCLC WorldMap is a prototype system that provides an interactive visual tool for selecting and displaying international library holdings represented in WorldCat, and publishing, library, cultural heritage, and collection data. It allows users to select countries of interest, compare various library and cultural heritage data by country, and create graphs displaying data for up to four countries at a time....

Texas Legal DirectoryLocating lawyers online
Scott Russell writes: “Obtaining background information on attorneys is a common question asked of law librarians. Yet as routine as it may sound, it isn’t always as simple as going to Martindale Hubbell. While Martindale has long been a primary reference point for finding attorneys, some firms are opting out of the directory. Information on corporate counsel can prove even more difficult to locate. For instances where you cannot find an in-house or private practice lawyer in any other source, searching an online state bar directory may offer your best bet.”...
LRRX, Nov. 24

Meredith FarkasA Casual Conversation with Meredith Farkas
American Libraries columnist Meredith Farkas is distance learning librarian at Norwich University in Vermont. On December 7 at 2 p.m. Eastern time she will be participating in an OPAL Casual Conversation online program. The Casual Conversations series allows leaders in various library fields to discuss informally what they currently are working on, their future plans and goals, the challenges and opportunities facing librarianship, and their personal pet peeves. Other upcoming programs will feature Curtis Rogers, Lori Bell, Michelle Boule, and Marshall Breeding....
Online Programming for All Libraries

Nancy PearlInterview with Nancy Pearl
Nancy Pearl, rock star librarian and model for the Librarian Action Figure, is interviewed (16:00) at the 2007 Missouri Library Association Conference by Karen Robinson. Pearl shares the story of how she was chosen to be the model for the Librarian Action Figure. What do you wear when you’re being “digitized” to become a 5-inch plastic action figure?...
LISRadio webcast, Nov. 26

Special librarian salaries outpace inflation
According to the results of a Special Libraries Association salary survey, average salary increases for SLA members in the United States and Canada have outpaced inflation once again. Based on salaries as of April 2007 for U.S. respondents, the increase in salaries for 2007 over 2006 was 5.1%. This is 1.1% higher than the increase from 2005 to 2006. The average salary for U.S. members who answered the survey was $69,446, compared with $67,400 reported in 2006....
Special Libraries Association, Dec. 4

Man offers duct tape in a tool boxDuct-tape addiction
Angela Reynolds writes: “I’m addicted to duct tape, and it is all the library’s fault. During Teen Read Week, I put together some duct-tape programs, and had so much fun looking at the amazing creations that teenagers came up with and making my first-ever duct-tape wallet. I also found out about clear duct tape—and now, I am addicted.”...
ALSC Blog, Dec. 3

Ridgewood Public Library video entry in New Jersey State Library contestVote for the best video and comic
The New Jersey State Library has opened up voting for the best “How I Have Fun at My Library” video and comic submitted by teens in the state. All you have to do is go to the contest site and click on the YouTube Video icon, read the comics, view the videos, and cast your vote. Not only do you get to vote, you’ll also see the results immediately. Voting ends December 31....
New Jersey State Library

Dorothy Parker martini glassHoliday gift guide
Brian Smith offers this selection of holiday gifts, many of them irreverent, that you might want to consider if you’re doing last-minute online shopping. Included are such novelties as giant plush microbes, a potty chair with a book rack, an Orcish librarian card, illustrated librarian temporary tats, Dorothy Parker martini glasses (right), and a book safe....
The Laughing Librarian, Dec. 1

Envelope sent by Melvil Dewey's Library Bureau in 1885 to Cornell University LibraryMelvil Dewey’s Library Bureau
The Library Bureau and its predecessors were the first significant providers of library supplies and “fittings” for America’s libraries. Although this envelope, mailed in 1885 to the Librarian of Cornell University, indicates that the Library Bureau was founded by Melvil Dewey in 1876, it was not legally established under that name until 1881. Visit Larry Nix’s website to see items from an 1886 Library Bureau supply catalog....
Library History Buff

Kingsley ad

ALA Midwinter Learn More badge

ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, January 11–16. The full daily schedule is now available in an Excel file (locations will be available on the Event Planner, to be posted later).

Cover for Academic Librarianship by Design

It’s no accident that Academic Librarianship by Design, by Steven J. Bell and John D. Shank, is a big hit. Scenarios, case studies, and profiles throughout the book illustrate the successes that “blended librarians” are having on campuses. And check out Steven Bell’s design video, “Design Thinking: How a Design Approach Can Help Create Better User Experiences,” as a free online supplement. NEW! From ALA Editions.

ACRL New Member Wiki logo

ACRL has a New Member Wiki, designed to guide new members of the division. The topics were suggested by more than 200 new members who attended the ACRL 101 program in Washington, D.C., in June 2007. ACRL members are welcome to add new content, exchange information, and help expand and develop the site.

In this issue
December 2007

Cover of November 2007 issue of AL

Health-Information Literacy

The 1918 Influenza Pandemic

Highlights from 100 Years of AL History

Top 10 Library Stories of 2007

Michael Gorman on RDA

Last week to take our news survey

American Libraries and the ALA Washington Office want to find out how to serve your news needs better. Take this brief survey and tell us how you use the suite of services that the two offices provide.

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Librarian for Law of the Islamic World, Harvard Law School. Under the general direction of the Cataloging Services Librarian, this position bears primary responsibility for building and organizing the Library’s collections of materials on Islamic law and the positive law of the Islamic world. Also catalogs Arabic monographs, serials, and electronic resources....

@ More jobs...

Library Champions logo

Visit ALA’s three new Library Champions at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia

Greenwood Publishing Group
Booth 1342

Booth 437
Booth 1253

Teen reading

Ten ways adults can support teen reading

The number of 17-year-olds who say they never read for pleasure has doubled in the past 20 years to 19%. But good reading habits start at home and at the library. Here are ten ways that YALSA suggests can help teens get interested in reading.

Digital Library of the Week

Illuminated initial letter F with electrician working on utility pole under power lines. Ink drawing on tissue paper by Father Edward Catich, St. Ambrose University. [Illuminated Initial Letters 056]

The Catich Collection at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, provides digital access to the artwork of Fr. Edward Catich (1906–1979), one of the world’s finest calligraphers. Catich was known as an international authority on stone incising, typography, and stained glass fabrication, and as the foremost authority on the Roman alphabet, its origin, nature, and history. The university owns nearly 5,000 Catich works, ranging from sketch books and small drawings to major pieces of art: primarily watercolors, ink drawings, and carved slates. A long-term goal of this project is to promote public and scholarly awareness of his achievements and to develop a broader appreciation for the aesthetics of his work.

Do you know of a digital library collection that we can mention in this AL Direct feature? Tell us about it.

Public Perception
How the World
Sees Us

“Banning has precedents. There was the obvious Nazi fondness for bonfires. Perhaps, more aptly, in the 17th century Catholic missionaries in Central America burned all Mayan books because they thought their words were the language of the devil. As a result, only five texts in the Mayan language survive. In Halton Region’s defence, I don’t think any public school board was involved in the incident.”

—Drew Hayden Taylor, commenting on the Halton, Ontario, Catholic school board’s decision to pull Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass from library shelves because of the author’s professed atheism, in Toronto’s Now magazine, Nov. 29.

Ask the ALA Librarian

AACR logo

Q. When will there be a revised AACR?

A. The Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, maintained by the Joint Steering Committee for Revision of AACR, are being replaced by a new standard: RDA: Resource Description and Access, scheduled for release in early 2009. The current text of AACR is the Second Edition, 2002 Revision (with 2003, 2004, and 2005 updates) which incorporates all changes approved by the JSC through February 2005. The rules are published by ALA, the Canadian Library Association, and CILIP. The current text may be purchased through the publisher appropriate to your location (for the U.S. and Mexico, it’s the American Library Association. See the ALA Professional Tips wiki for more....

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.


Mar. 2–4:
Ohio Digital Commons for Education 2008 Conference, Columbus. “The Convergence of Learning, Libraries, and Technology.”

Mar. 5–7:
WebWise Conference, Miami Beach, Florida. “WebWise 2.0: The Power of Community.”

Mar. 6–7:
The Emerging Research Library: Our Role in the Digital Future, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City. Register by Feb. 15.

Mar. 12–14:
South Carolina Association of School Librarians, Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. “Power Up @ your library.”

Mar. 14–15:
Northern Illinois University Children’s Literature Conference, DeKalb. “Male Call: Boys and Books.”

Mar. 18–21:
Electronic Resources and Libraries,
Atlanta, Georgia.

Mar. 19–22:
Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association Conference, San Francisco Marriott. “Libraries, Archives, and Popular Culture.”

Mar. 24–28:
American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting and Exhibition,
New York City. “Research on Schools, Neighborhoods, and Communities: Toward Civic Responsibility.”

@ More...

Contact Us
American Libraries Direct

ALA logo

AL Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed 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.