King and King reigns in Pennsylvania
After several rounds of consideration, the board of Lower Macungie (Pa.) Library decided November 29 to keep King and King by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland in the children’s section. Parents Eileen and Jeff Issa had asked the library to remove the book from circulation due to its homosexual content, and collected about 40 signatures from like-minded residents....
Shell Lady still nestles in Wyoming schools
A reconsideration committee for the Campbell County (Wyo.) School District voted 11–2 December 3 to keep C. S. Adler’s The Shell Lady’s Daughter districtwide. Parent Sarah Foster challenged the book after her daughter read it in 2006 when she was a 4th-grader at Wagonwheel Elementary School, arguing that the book’s discussion of sexual thoughts and actions, lying to parents, and suicide were inappropriate for elementary-school students....
Update on Sandia National Labs library
David Williams, director of information solutions and services for Sandia National Laboratories Technical Library in New Mexico, told the ALA Washington Office that the library has not been properly cared for or funded for a while. His intent all along has been to provide a continuity of library services. Unfortunately, the recent decision to close the physical collection was based on statistics that did not accurately reflect how the materials were being used. Steps have now been taken to ensure that there is continued physical access to the books....
District Dispatch blog, Dec. 11
Proposed changes to ALA Code of Ethics
ALA’s Code of Ethics will be 70 years old in 2009. In anticipation of this important anniversary, the Committee on Professional Ethics is proposing changes in Articles III, IV, and V. In addition, on the advice of ALA’s legal counsel, COPE believes that the best approach is that libraries adopt the Code as part of their policy, thus making it enforceable on a local level. These proposals will be discussed at an open hearing on Sunday, January 13, 4–6 p.m., in the Petite Ballroom at Philadelphia’s Ritz Carlton Hotel....
Martin Luther King Jr. Sunrise Celebration
Ganga B. Dakshinamurti, librarian at the Albert Cohen Management Library in the University of Manitoba’s Asper School of Business, will be the keynote speaker of the sixth annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Sunrise Celebration, January 14, 6:30–7:30 a.m., at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Room 113. The theme for this year is “A Challenging Inspiration Lighting Our Way: From Gandhi to King Jr. to Us.”...
An evening with Anthony Lewis
The Freedom to Read Foundation, in cooperation with the National Constitution Center, will present an evening with Anthony Lewis on January 14, in conjunction with the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. Lewis, a visiting professor at Columbia University since 1983, is one of the country’s preeminent First Amendment experts and the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes....
ALA reasserts role of libraries in e-government
In a December 11 statement (PDF file) to the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, ALA addressed the critical yet unacknowledged role public libraries play in delivering e-government services to the American people. Increasingly, government agencies refer individuals to their local public libraries for assistance and access to the internet for citizen-government interactions. Yet public libraries are not considered members of the e-government team....
OLA: The first 100 days
ALA’s newest office, the Office for Library Advocacy, became official at the start of ALA’s fiscal year, September 1. Its existence is a direct response to ALA member needs identified through a number of surveys over the last several years. Under the direction of interim director Marci Merola (right), OLA’s purpose is to support the efforts of library advocates at the local, state, and national level....
ALA Marginalia blog, Dec. 10
National Library Legislative Day 2008
Come to Washington, D.C., May 13–14, and join hundreds of library supporters from across the country visiting members of Congress. National Library Legislative Day is a two-day event in which people who care about libraries participate in advocacy and issue training sessions, interact with Capitol Hill insiders, and visit congressional member offices to ask Congress to pass legislation that supports libraries. And don’t forget, there’s Virtual Library Legislative Day....
review: Books for youth
Applegate, Katherine. The Buffalo Storm. Illustrated by Jan Ormerod. Oct. 2007. 32p. PreS-Grade 2. Clarion, hardcover (978-0-618-53597-2).
Best known for titles in the Animorphs and Everworld series, Applegate writes a moving picture-book account of a pioneer family’s journey. Young Hallie, who fears nothing, “except maybe storms,” is excited that her family will be heading west to Oregon. Her beloved grandmother, who will stay behind, gives her images to look forward to: “You’ll see buffalo, child, too many to count!” On the trail, the days are challenging, the storms are terrifying, and Hallie aches for her grandmother. Then, at a stop in Wyoming, Hallie finds a buffalo calf trapped in the rocks....
Sci-tech top 10 books for youth
Animals—from exotic, venomous snakes to familiar, fuzzy house pets—dominate the pages of this year’s best science books for youth, all reviewed in Booklist during the last year. Young readers concerned about climate change, Booklist editor Gillian Engberg writes, will also find several exciting titles to guide their research and personal reading, including Hurricane Force, by Joseph B. Treaster, which offers a gripping photo-essay that blends the grim particulars of the tragedy with meteorological science and hurricane history....
@ Visit Booklist Online for other reviews and much more....
The Library Company of Philadelphia
The Library Company houses over half a million rare books, manuscripts, pamphlets, broadsides, prints, and photographs relating to early American history. Founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin as a subscription library, the Library Company regularly presents exhibitions in its Louise Lux-Sions and Harry Sions Gallery, located off the lobby. The exhibitions are an easy way to discover some of the Library Company’s many treasures....
The Academy of Natural Sciences
The Ewell Sale Stewart Library at the Academy of Natural Sciences is open to the public by appointment only, Monday through Friday from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Call (215) 299-1040 or email to inquire about a visit during Midwinter. Each Friday afternoon, a member of the library staff turns a page of Audubon’s historic The Birds of America. It takes 8.5 years to page through the 435 plates, one week at a time....
A book lover’s walking tour of the Historic District
Follow this suggested path to visit literary, printing, and publishing sites around Independence Hall and Washington Square. The tour can take anywhere from 90 minutes to all day, depending on how long you linger. All sites are free of charge unless otherwise noted. Download a printable tour map (PDF file)....
Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries
The Athenæum of Philadelphia
Athenæum’s special photographic exhibit, “Palazzos of Power: The Generating Stations of the Philadelphia Electric Company, 1900–1930,” open during Midwinter. These great power plants along the banks of the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers represent a singular building type, with an architectural vocabulary that simultaneously evokes Beaux Arts tradition and cutting-edge modernity....
If you liked The Kite Runner...
To coincide with the December 14 release of The Kite Runner, the film adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s best-selling novel, YALSA has created a list of companion titles to recommend to teens who are interested in reading more about Afghanistan. The Kite Runner was named one of YALSA’s 2004 Alex Award winners, which honor adult books with specific teen appeal....
YALSA Midwinter Gaming Extravaganza
Check out the latest and greatest in video, tabletop, and role-playing games at the third annual YALSA Midwinter Gaming Extravaganza on Friday, January 11. Sponsored by Dungeons & Dragons, the extravaganza is the official kickoff event for Teen Tech Week 2008, to be held March 2–8....
YALSA launches diversity campaign
Thanks to an ALA grant to fund initiatives that support the ALAhead to 2010 strategic plan,
YALSA has launched YALSA Unity: A Diversity Initiative. The $8,000 grant, along with $1,000 in funding from YALSA, will support a Young Adult Services Spectrum Scholar, establish a new conference scholarship for a member with a diverse background, and recruit young adult librarians at ALA affiliate conferences and events....
Round Table activities at Midwinter
Many of the ALA round tables have listed their activities at the Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia on their websites. See, for example, the Continuing Library
Education Network and Exchange Round Table, the Government Documents Round Table, the International Relations Round Table, the Library History Round Table, the Library Support Staff Interests Round Table, the Map and Geography Round Table, and the Video Round Table.
Barbara M. Jones wins Downs IF Award
Wesleyan University Librarian Barbara M. Jones has received the 2007 Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award, given by the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her work on behalf of the Committee on Freedom of Access to Information and Freedom of Expression has taken her to several different countries to present workshops on access to HIV/AIDS information, internet access, and libraries in the fight against government corruption....
University of Illinois GSLIS, Dec. 3
2007 Mellon awards for technology collaboration
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation on December 10 awarded $650,000 in prizes to 10 not-for-profit institutions in the second annual Mellon Awards for Technology Collaboration. The awards honor organizations for leadership in the collaborative development of open source software tools with application to scholarship in the arts and humanities. The Georgia Public Library Service was given an award for developing the Evergreen open-source library automation system....
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Dec. 10
Nominate someone for a psychology librarianship award
The American Psychological Association seeks nominations for the 2008 APA Excellence in Librarianship Award, which will be presented at the ACRL Educational and Behavioral Sciences Section Research Forum at ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. The award recognizes an outstanding contribution to psychology and behavioral sciences librarianship....
American Psychological Association, Dec. 10
Coming Up Taller award nominations
Nominations are being accepted for the 2008 Coming Up Taller awards that recognize and reward outstanding after-school, out-of-school, and summer arts and humanities programs for underserved children and youth. The program, in its 11th year, is sponsored by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Dec. 6
Indianapolis Central Library reopens
With a flourish of trumpets, hundreds of people poured into the Indianapolis Central Library December 9, the first chance for the general public to set foot in the facility in five years. Visitors walked through the painstakingly restored 1917 Paul Cret building and then into the glass atrium, which leads to the new six-story addition with its floor-to-ceiling glass walls. Concrete problems led to cost overruns and a delay in finishing the project, but now the library is back in business, and one Seattle architecture critic calls it “a stunningly good building.”...
Indianapolis Star, Dec. 9–10
Space crunch hurts Stanford’s East Asian collection
When an aging library is torn down, Stanford University’s historic East Asian collection will suddenly find itself homeless. The collection comprises 520,000 Chinese, Japanese, and Korean volumes that now reside in the 41-year-old Meyer Library—a seismically unsafe structure slated for demolition within the next several years....
San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, Dec. 9
Golden Compass needles Oshkosh
At least one school in the Oshkosh, Wisconsin, area has temporarily pulled the novel The Golden Compass from its library shelves over concerns about what critics call its “anti-Christian message.” Mary Miller, media specialist at St. John Neumann Middle School and Lourdes High School, said she has taken the series off the shelf at the shared school library because she wants to have a chance to read them and decide for herself if they are appropriate for students....
Oshkosh (Wis.) Northwestern, Dec. 7
Sandpiper wades through Alabama challenge
The novel Sandpiper by Ellen Wittlinger will stay on Brookwood High library shelves—but not necessarily because the Tuscaloosa County (Ala.) school board wants it there. After three months of debate and conflict over the book, the board announced December 10 that it would remain because of U.S. Supreme Court rulings that found that students’ first amendment rights can be directly affected by the removal of books from a school library....
Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News, Dec. 11
Salinas looks to expansion
Just a few years ago, the Salinas (Calif.) Public Library system was on the brink of collapse. Today, it’s entertaining ambitious strategies for growth. On December 11, the Salinas City Council heard plans to expand the existing three library branches, and ultimately, to add a fourth in a future housing development in the city’s northeast. Salinas libraries soon will be better able to serve all city residents, Library Director Elizabeth Martinez told the council....
Salinas Californian, Dec. 12
Former director jailed for chair theft
Ten days in jail is what the former executive director of Rodman Public Library in Alliance, Ohio, will serve after being found guilty of taking chairs out of the library. Magdaline Engle, who resigned in mid-November from her job at the library, was convicted recently in municipal court of misdemeanor theft. Judge Robert Lavery, while suspending 20 days of the 30-day sentence, decided Engle should be incarcerated for 10 days in the Stark County Jail....
Canton (Ohio) Repository, Dec. 12
Enterprising Alabama teen restocks Kansas library
Thinking of possible projects to earn his Eagle Scout status, 17-year-old Christopher Skrzypczak of Enterprise, Alabama, began considering a book drive late last April. But after he heard of the May 4 tornado that flattened Greensburg, Kansas, he vowed to send the Kiowa County Library as many books as he could. When he visited Greensburg on November 23, the trailer he’d towed from Alabama was filled with more than 500 books....
Kiowa County (Kans.) Signal, Nov. 28
Lost Boy works to build Sudanese library
A civil war refugee from Sudan who eventually settled in Fargo, North Dakota, is realizing a dream of building a library in his homeland. Justin Machien Luoi was one of thousands of Sudanese who went to refugee camps in neighboring countries and became known as the Lost Boys. He returned last spring to the African village he’d fled on foot 20 years before as a child. It was a joyous reunion with family members and an early milestone in a development project with ties to Concordia College, where Luoi graduated last spring....
Fargo (N.Dak.) Forum, Dec. 9
Library Man pontificates again
Brad Barker, school library media specialist at Mark Twain Junior High School, sets Modestans straight on library matters: “Q. Dear Library Man: Is it your ambition to become the powerful Librarian of Congress? A. You caught me. These 21 years at a junior high library in west Modesto have just been a stepping stone in my scheme to dominate the library universe.”...
Modesto (Calif.) Bee, Dec. 10
How the next billion users will reshape the Net
Michael Geist writes: “With more than a billion internet users worldwide, doubling that number—which should happen within the next decade—will have a profound effect on the network, technology, the computer software industry, access to knowledge, and our environment. Most new internet users will not speak English as their first language, which should lead to increased pressure to accommodate different languages within the domain name system. Moreover, many new users will have different cultural and societal views on hot-button issues such as online free speech, privacy, and copyright.”...
Toronto Star, Dec. 10
15 media managers to organize your photos
Techlicious reviews 15 software packages that help you organize, modify, and access your digital content, including Picasa, CompuPic Pro, VisiPics, and Image Dupeless (which helps you search for and identify duplicate images based on their content, not depending on sizes, formats, and resolutions)....
Ask.com offers private searches
Will privacy sell? Ask.com is betting it will. The fourth-largest search engine company began a service called AskEraser, which allows users to make their searches more private. The major search engines typically keep track of search terms typed by users and link them to a computer’s internet address, and sometimes to the user. However, when AskEraser is turned on, Ask.com discards all that information....
New York Times, Dec. 11
Emily Chang recommends CoveritLive to “broadcast an event live on your blog or website for free. Embedding a bit of code in your blog or website gives your readers a resizeable window to interact with you as you cover your live event. Show photos, cue videos, or run polls during your broadcast. Allows you to search for media using Google while you’re on the air.” Freeware, for now at least....
Emily Chang’s eHub, Dec. 6
Time to believe in the god box?
Jon Oltsik writes: “A ‘god box’ is a single system packed with ridiculous amounts of functionality. Think of an all-in-one television, cable box, TiVo, and home entertainment speaker system and you get the idea. In the past, god boxes were always either underpowered or overpriced. Times have changed. No, we aren’t quite yet at a point where the industry can produce Scott McNealy’s visionary ‘big honkin’ Web switch,’ but we are getting closer.”...
C|Net news blog, Dec. 10
Yahoo! Answers: 120 million users can be wrong
Jacob Leibenluft writes: “While Yahoo! Answers is a valuable window into how people look for information online, it looks like a complete disaster as a traditional reference tool. It encourages bad research habits, rewards people who post things that aren’t true, and frequently labels factual errors as correct information. It’s every librarian’s worst nightmare about the Web.”...
Slate, Dec. 7
On the LC Working Group report
Diane Hillman writes: “In general I found the report (PDF file) to be an interesting mix of sound recommendations and blinkered thinking. Some of this was a result of the fact that although the Library of Congress commissioned this group, they have felt free to aim their recommendations to other organizations and the profession at large. This is the good news and the bad news: sometimes it was difficult to prise out of a recommendation why the WG chose to target a particular institution, other times the recommendations seemed well targeted and nicely put.”...
Diane I. Hillman
Challenged materials in Colorado public libraries (PDF file)
In 2006, out of the 115 public libraries in Colorado, 23 reported that they received a
formal challenge during the year. There were a total of 89 individual challenges to
books, materials, events, exhibits, and internet-related services in the state’s public
libraries. There were 63 challenges to materials and
events, which was the lowest number since
Fast Facts (Colorado Library Research Service), no. 254 (Dec. 6)
Pay some attention to the research
Steven Bell writes: “Academic librarianship’s mainstream research journals are looking more like prizefighters in the twilight of their careers. As far as attracting readers, it seems like they’re about to go down for the count at any moment. But every now and then an article will emerge from the pack that will grab your attention and have you kicking yourself for not coming up with that idea. In other words, you might actually learn something important. I came across two such articles recently.”...
ACRLog, Dec. 10
Survey on ethics in book reviewing
According to a recent survey on book reviewing practices by the National Book Critics Circle, 76.5% of those responding think it’s never ethical to review a book without reading the whole thing. And 52% think it’s not okay for a book-review editor, in assigning books for review, to favor books by writers who also review regularly for that editor’s book section....
Critical Mass blog, Dec. 10
Blogs with a teen focus
In this YALSA podcast (53:32, mp3 file), Crystal Niedzwiadek interviews two YA services librarians about their teen-oriented blogs—Stephanie Iser of the Alternative Teen Services blog, and Eli Neiburger, who runs the Ann Arbor (Mich.) District Library’s Gaming Blog....
Podcast, no. 29 (Dec. 9)
Threadless t-shirts checked out too many times
This clever t-shirt design by Mike Sayre circulated so well that the company is now out of stock. But if enough people want a second chance, Threadless is offering to reprint them. Click on your size and await an email response. Then again, they have a few other offerings....
ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, January 11–16.
Cognotes is the daily newspaper of the ALA Midwinter Meeting. It will be published Friday through Monday in Philadelphia and posted on the ALA website every day, with a Highlights issue mailed to all ALA members following the meeting.
Heroic reader Sendhil Ramamurthy, who plays genetics professor Mohinder Suresh on the blockbuster television series Heroes, is featured with the Hardy Boys novel, The Tower Treasure, on this READ poster. NEW! From ALA Graphics.
How does your library use the results of evaluation to improve your Virtual Reference service? The RUSA/MARS Management of Electronic Resources and Services Committee would like you to share your successes through a Virtual Poster Session. The deadline is January 3. Contact Kathryn Millis for more details.
The 1918 Influenza Pandemic
Highlights from 100 Years of AL History
Top 10 Library Stories of 2007
Michael Gorman on RDA
Nancy F. Stimson writes about how big library changes, like a building renovation, offer an opportunity to reexamine the library brand—in the December 2007 issue of ACRL’s College & Research Libraries News.
Library Technologies and Content Manager, City of Scottsdale, Arizona, provides direction and leadership for the delivery of library services in four essential areas: information technologies including library automation sytems; print, electronic, and digital collection development; cataloging and acquisitions; and virtual library services including website development....
Looking to improve your advocacy skills? Want to meet fellow library supporters from across the country? Get the tools to become an effective library advocate at the Midwinter Meeting Advocacy Institute, January 11, in Philadelphia.
Digital Library of the Week
The Digital Library of Georgia is an initiative based at the University of Georgia Libraries that connects users to 500,000 digital objects in 105 collections from 60 institutions and 100 government agencies. Users can browse by topic, time period, county, institution, media type, or collection. One of the collections is Vanishing Georgia, comprising nearly 18,000 photographs. Ranging from daguerreotypes to Kodachrome prints, the images span over 100 years of Georgia history. The broad subject matter of these photographs, shot by both amateurs and professionals, includes family and business life, school and civic activities, important individuals and events in Georgia history, and landscapes. The wide variety of the collected visual images results from efforts by archivists from the Georgia Division of Archives and History who sought, between 1975 and 1996, to preserve Georgia’s endangered historical photographs.
Do you know of a digital library collection that we can mention in this AL Direct feature? Tell us about it.
“I’ve gotten more email, more postcards, more mail, more phone calls, and more stops on the streets and in the stores on that subject alone than I have anything else in the entire seven years I have been on the council.”
Butte County (Calif.) Councilman Larry Wahl on the public outcry after county officials proposed eliminating funding for the Chico library, NBC affiliate KNVN-TV, Chico, Nov. 27.
Know someone interested in a dynamic career in library and information science education, research, or executive-level administration? The Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship program is currently accepting applications for students beginning doctoral studies in the fall of 2008. The fellowship provides full tuition and annual stipends of $20,000 for the first two years of study at 10 participating institutions. The deadline to apply is January 18.
Computers in Libraries, Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia.
Museums and the Web, Montreal, Quebec.
Information Architecture Summit, Miami. “Experiencing Information.”
TechEd 2008, Ontario, California. “Realizing the Vision.”
Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians, Annual Conference, Holiday Inn, Manitowoc.
Center for Summer Learning, National Conference, Hyatt Regency, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
University of South Carolina Celebration of Latino Children’s Literature Conference, Columbia.
Living the Future Conference, Sheraton Hotel and Suites, Tucson. “Transforming Libraries Through Collaboration.”
LOEX 2008, Oak Brook, Illinois. “Librarian as Architect: Planning, Building, and Renewing.”
Amigos Conference and Vendor Fair, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Dallas.
GLBT Archives, Libraries, Museums, and Special Collections Conference, City University of New York.
National Genealogical Society, Annual Conference, Kansas City, Missouri.
Digipalooza ’08, OverDrive partner libraries’ user group conference, Cleveland, Ohio. Contact: Shannon Mangan.