The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | December 19,

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

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AL Buyers Guide

No AL Direct next week
AL Direct is taking a week off December 26 for the holidays. Look for a new edition on Thursday, January 3. Have a Happy New Year!

U.S. & World News

Head Start logoBush signs library-friendly Head Start reauthorization
In a victory for libraries and the cause of literacy, President Bush December 12 signed the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007. Since 1965, Head Start has provided comprehensive child-development services to millions of low-income children and their families to promote school readiness. The bill, which reauthorizes Head Start for another five years, had passed the House by a vote of 381–36 and the Senate by 95–0 November 14....

Impact of revised child porn legislation on libraries uncertain
The House approved a bill December 4 that expands an existing law penalizing internet service providers that knowingly fail to report to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children images passing along an ISP’s network of child pornography or child sexual exploitation. The Securing Adolescents from Exploitation-Online (SAFE) Act of 2007 (H.R. 3791), sponsored by Rep. Nick Lampson (D-Tex.), passed by a vote of 409–2 and increases themaximum fines from $100,000 to $300,000....

Cover of The Golden CompassU.S. schools needled by Golden Compass
The debate raging in some Canadian school dioceses over the presence of Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass on media center shelves has expanded from Canada to the United States, where a public school in Alamosa, Colorado, briefly removed the book in November and a Catholic school in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, is in the process of reconsidering it. Meanwhile, officials at the Greater Sudbury (Ont.) Public Library have declined to delete the novel from its 2007 list of books for 4th–6th-graders participating in the library’s annual Battle of the Books competition....

Cover of SandpiperSandpiper wades through Alabama challenge
The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) County School Board grudgingly decided to keep Sandpiper by Ellen Wittlinger on the shelves at the Brookwood High School library December 10. The book was challenged in September due to a complaint that it has sexual content and language. The board decided to retain the book on the advice of legal counsel, who cited U.S. Supreme Court rulings that removing a book from a school library because of its content threatens students’ First Amendment rights....

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ALA News

The Pennsylvania Convention Center is the second-largest in the Northeast. The facility combines contemporary architecture with the renovation of one of the city’s historical buildings, the Reading Terminal Headhouse.Welcome to Philly (PDF file)
When the more than 10,000 attendees, exhibitors, authors, and guests converge upon the Philadelphia Convention Center January 11–16 for the ALA Midwinter Meeting, it won’t be the first time the Association brings its business meeting to a city that is host to a wealth of historical sites as well as a number of firsts. Use this exclusive American Libraries preview to help plan your conference activities, both in and out of the Convention Center....
American Libraries 39, no. 1 (Jan./Feb. 2008): 62–69

Printz Award logoWatch the live webcast of children/teen literary awards
ALA will provide a free live webcast of its national announcement of the top books, video, and audiobooks for children and young adults—including the Caldecott, King, Newbery, and Printz awards—January 14 at 7:45 a.m. Eastern time. Unikron, a streaming content provider, will host the webcast. Anyone interested in following the action online should bookmark and use this URL....

OITP launches major e-rate effort
ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy is launching a major project to increase the benefit that the nation’s public libraries obtain from the federal e-rate program. This effort will include data collection and developing and implementing strategies to make it easier for libraries to participate in the program. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation supported the project with a $950,000 grant in November....

International copyright advocates meet with Washington Office
In early December, the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy met with three librarians recently appointed to become ALA’s first International Copyright Advocates to represent library interests on the world copyright stage. The International Copyright Advocate initiative was established this year to broaden library representation at international meetings, where copyright activities have intensified....

Help form a Games and Gaming MIG
Scott Nicholson hopes to go to the Midwinter Meeting with 100 signatures, enough to start an ALA Member Interest Group on Games and Gaming. If you are willing to help start this group, print out the petition (PDF file), collect signatures and member numbers of ALA members in your organization, and send it to the address on the form in the next few weeks....
The Shifted Librarian, Dec. 12

Booklist Online logo

The Good Earth CDFeatured review: Media
Buck, Pearl S. The Good Earth. Read by Anthony Heald. Aug. 2007. 10.5 hr. Blackstone, CD (978-1-4332-0406-7).
Heald’s beguiling voice is used to great effect in his impressive reading of this 1932 Pulitzer Prize–winning novel. Those familiar with the story know it is set in China during the early 1900s and traces the rising and falling fates of industrious farmer Wang Lung and his family. Heald does not attempt a Chinese accent in his reading of this classic. Instead, he softly eases into tonal shifts, adding hints of an accent that are hard to pin down but lovely to hear....

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

Philadelphia Update

Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s eponymous restaurant.From cozy to funky: Philadelphia’s diverse dining choices (PDF file)
Philadelphia’s restaurant renaissance began in the late 1970s and is still going strong. Evelyn Minick, Sara Moran, Elliot Shelkrot, and Kevin Vaughan write in this American Libraries dining guide that terrific new restaurants are opening every week, and it’s usually worth making a reservation. A recent trend is BYOBs, where you can enjoy some of the city’s best food, while saving money on drinks....

American Libraries 39, no. 1 (Jan./Feb. 2008): 70–73

ACRL’s ArtsGuide Philadelphia (PDF file)
Be sure to check out the ACRL Arts Section’s ArtsGuide Philadelphia as you plan your Midwinter activities. Prepared by local arts librarians, the guide will help conference attendees find arts-related venues and events in and around Philadelphia. They point out unique, off-the-beaten-path art, architecture, film, music, dance, and theater experiences that you might not discover from other types of tourist guides....

Philadelphia on a Half-Tank, a mural by artist Paul Santoleri. This piece occupies half the circumference of an oil tank located near the city airport.Murals of Philadelphia
Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program evolved from a simple 1984 project organized by muralist Jane Golden to combat the city’s graffiti problem. Time magazine shows some of the more famous ones in this photogallery; others may be found in various books offered by the Mural Arts Program....
Time, Dec. 16

Division News

Midwinter institute on teen advocacy
Learn how to better advocate for teens by attending YALSA’s Taking Teen Services to the Next Level, a pre-Midwinter Meeting institute. This full-day institute will take place 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Friday, January 11, in the Marriott Philadelphia Liberty BRC Room and includes lunch....

Teen Tech Week promotional song contest
Do you know any teens that make their own music? Perhaps they like to sing or have their own band? Now is the time to let them shine! Give teens an opportunity to showcase their talent in YALSA’s Teen Tech Week Promotional Song Contest. The purpose of the contest is for teens to create a song that promotes libraries and their many technology resources to teens. The deadline is March 8....
YALSA Blog, Dec. 16

AL Buyers Guide
Seen Online

Cover of ETS studyFamilies and school test performance
A new study (PDF file) by the Educational Testing Service concludes that many low scores on standardized state tests can be explained by factors that have nothing to do with schools. The study, The Family: America’s Smallest School, suggests that a lot of the failure has to do with single-parent families, poor attendance records, TV watching, and parents not reading to their children at an early age....
New York Times, Dec. 9

Cover of Just ListenJust Listen spurs Tampa school review
Not all teens are reading Harry Potter. The Hillsborough County (Fla.) School Board discovered that at its December 11 meeting, when a mother read a graphic passage from Sarah Dessen’s Just Listen, which her daughter checked out of her high school library. School board chairwoman Jennifer Faliero stopped the mother in mid-sentence, later explaining that the passage—describing an attempted rape—was too explicit for the televised meeting. The author comments about the situation in her journal....
Tampa (Fla.) Tribune, Dec. 13

Tales of Beedle the BardHarry Potter and the Amazon purchase said it bought J. K. Rowling’s handwritten 157-page volume of fairy tales for £1.95 million ($3.98 million U.S.) at a London charity auction December 13. The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a book of five wizardry fairy tales mentioned in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is one of seven copies Rowling handmade after finishing the Potter series. The money will go to the Children’s Voice, a charity cofounded by Rowling and Emma Nicholson, a member of the U.K. House of Lords....
Bloomberg, Dec. 14;

Hennepin and Minneapolis library logosHennepin County approves Minneapolis merger
The Hennepin County (Minn.) Board of Commissioners approved the merger December 18 of the Hennepin County Library and Minneapolis Public Library systems, pending approval by the Minneapolis council and mayor. The merger would be effective January 1. As a condition of the agreement, three closed Minneapolis branches—Roosevelt, Southeast, and Webber Park—will reopen January 3....
Eden Prairie (Minn.) News, Dec. 18

Judge gives library a boost with court settlement
Circuit Court Judge Richard Vance has given the Sevier County (Tenn.) Public Library System Foundation $500,000, money that resulted from a class-action lawsuit in Cocke County for which the judgment was allowed to be given to charities of the judge's choosing. The contribution jumped the foundation’s fundraising efforts to just under $8 million—still short of the goal of $8.5 million the foundation pledged to raise to pay for a new main library in Sevierville....
Sevierville (Tenn.) Mountain Press, Dec. 14

Richard Burns, as he receives the 2003 Hawaii Public Librarian of the Year AwardHawaii’s libraries face challenges ahead
When Richard Burns moves from his job as manager of Kapolei Public Library to take over as the new state librarian next year, he’ll inherit a system on the rebound. Burns is tasked with establishing new libraries that reach out to underserved areas, such as the Wai’anae Coast and the Big Island. And, as the library system has become more dependent on computer technology for circulation and online resources, staff have struggled with a painfully slow network....
Honolulu Advertiser, Dec. 19

DCPL rejuvenates its staff
Almost 40 employees of the D.C. Public Library system—about 10% of the workforce—will be leaving their jobs in early January as part of what officials describe as a plan to transform the beleaguered system and rejuvenate its personnel. The group leaving includes the head librarians of seven of the District’s 27 libraries. Eight were let go “without cause” and 30 others accepted financial incentives to retire....
Washington Post, Dec. 9

Cover of How the Garcia Girls Lost Their AccentsN.C. school officials hunting for more books to remove
After banning a popular coming-of-age tale, Johnston County, North Carolina, school officials are scouring library shelves for other potentially offensive books. The district review was prompted by a parent challenge to How the García Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez, which was removed from school libraries and classrooms this fall. The school board has asked administrators to check all of the books in high school libraries and classrooms against lists of commonly challenged books to weed out other offensive material....
Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer, Dec. 14

Iraqi archive makes a comeback
Some four years since it was looted, the Iraqi National Library and Archive’s recovery is exceeding even the most optimistic predictions. Windows once shattered by stray bullets have been replaced. Fresh coats of paint cover newly renovated walls, and dozens of new desktop computers line refurbished work spaces. The library employed about 90 people before the war. Today, 400 mostly young staffers have turned it into a hive of activity....
ABC News, Dec. 16

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Tech Talk

Ohio University's Second Life campusA quick guide to Second Life for librarians
Ellyssa Kroski writes: “Second Life is a massive virtual world with many opportunities for learning and entertainment. Over 60 colleges and universities have a virtual presence there and are joined by more than 500 librarians. If you are just starting out in this MMOG (massively multiplayer online game), this guide should get you up and running.” Note: You will need to have established a SL account first and have the program installed before you can access the SLURLs, or Second Life URLs....
iLibrarian, Dec. 14

HTML 5 graphicA preview of HTML 5
Lachlan Hunt offers an overview of HTML 5, which commenced in 2004 and is currently being carried out in a joint effort between the World Wide Web Consortium HTML Working Group and the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group. Many key players are participating in the W3C effort, including representatives from the four major browser vendors: Apple, Mozilla, Opera, and Microsoft....
A List Apart, Dec. 4

NISO revises digital library document
The National Information Standards Organization has released version 3 of its Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections. A community version of this document is being developed to allow for ongoing contributions from the community of librarians, archivists, curators, and other information professionals. The Framework establishes principles for creating, managing, and preserving digital collections, digital objects, metadata, and projects....
National Information Standards Organization, Dec. 13

Samples of Google ProfilesGoogle Profiles
They’re coming, and it will be difficult to get away without having one. Google Profiles will be integrated into most Google services so you have a coherent identity and a simple way to manage your contacts. A Google Profile lets you tell others a bit more about who you are and what you’re all about. You control what goes into your Google Profile, sharing as much (or as little) as you’d like. The new Google Profiles are already available in Shared Stuff, Google Maps, Google Reader, and will be added to other web applications....
Google Operating System blog, Dec. 15

Facet-based search with LCSH
Facet-based interfaces demonstrate some limitations of Library of Congress Subject Headings, which were designed to deal with constraints that do not exist in the current computerized environment. Kelley McGrath discusses some challenges for using LCSH for faceted browsing and navigation in library catalogs. She offers ideas for improving results through system design, changes to LCSH practice, and LCSH structure....
Code4Lib Journal, no. 1 (Dec. 17)

Amazon's Kindle e-book readerThings you didn’t know about Kindle
Mike Elgan reveals some interesting facts about’s new product that make it more than an e-book reader. Among them: You can surf the Web beyond Amazon and Wikipedia using Kindle’s Basic web browser. Kindle gives you access to an experimental and free service called Kindle NowNow, which is a search engine powered by actual humans. Kindle is also an audiobook reader and MP3 player, and has both speakers and a headphone jack....
Computerworld, Nov. 26

Actions & Answers

Kids' Corner graphicBook discussion questions for kids’ books
It can be hard to find discussion guides for children’s books on the Web. With more and more parents leading children’s book groups or parent/child book clubs, there is an increasing desire for discussion guides for kids’ books. Luckily, librarians, publishers, and booklovers are making more guides available online. These are some resources that help parent book leaders find discussion questions for children’s books for their clubs....
Book Group Buzz blog, Dec. 17

Family Tree Maker 2008Family Tree Maker 2008
Lisa Ruefenacht writes: “Many of us want to know about our roots, but trying to track them down can be overwhelming. Luckily, tools for exploring your family history have just gotten kicked up a notch with the release of Family Tree Maker 2008. This wonderfully simple software, which almost does your genealogy for you, syncs with genealogy website (you definitely want a paid subscription to that site, too), bringing you the utmost experience in family history research.”...
PC Magazine, Dec. 4

The bloggers among us
Meredith Farkas writes about her survey of librarian bloggers: “A survey I conducted of 839 blogging librarians depicts a diverse and rapidly growing population. True, most respondents are under the age of 40, but more than one-third (37%) are over 40—a significant and growing segment. The blogs with the most reach, read by thousands of people, focus on how libraries can use technologies to improve services.”...
Library Journal, Dec. 15

Alice WalkerAlice Walker archives will go to Emory
Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize winner and internationally known Georgia-born novelist and poet, will place her archive with Emory University, Provost Earl Lewis announced December 18. “The archive contains journals that she has been keeping since she was 14 or 15 years old,” said American Studies Professor Rudolph Byrd, who also is a friend and colleague of Walker’s. “There also are drafts of many of her early works of fiction, as well as the back and forth between Alice and the editors for each book.”...
Emory University, Dec. 18

Government info hiding in plain sight
Vital government information appears “invisible” to millions of Americans who are combing the internet and looking for answers via the most popular search engines, according to a report (PDF file) released December 11 by the Center for Democracy and Technology and OMB Watch. The report, “Hiding in Plain Sight: Why Important Government Information Cannot Be Found through Commercial Search Engines,” highlights the shortcomings some federal agencies exhibit when trying to comply with the mandates of the E-Government Act of 2002....
Center for Democracy and Technology, Dec. 11

BookSwim ships books to you (Step 2 of their How To chart)BookSwim: Netflix for books?
BookSwim is being referred to as the Netflix of books, or as the “first online book library rental club.” The basic idea is that you pay $14.99 a month (for three books out at a time), make a booklist of stuff you’d like to read based on titles that they have in their library, and as they become available you get the book. When you finish a book, you send it back, and they send you another one. A threat to libraries? No, says BookSwim’s Eric Ginsberg, in a comment to this post....
Infodoodads blog, Dec. 10–14

Online identity management and search
Internet users are becoming more aware of their digital footprint; 47% have searched for information about themselves online, up from just 22% five years ago. However, few monitor their online presence with great regularity. Indeed, most internet users are not concerned about the amount of information available about them online, and most do not take steps to limit that information....
Pew Internet & American Life Project, Dec. 16

Logo for the Anonymouse anonymizer serviceFive ways to protect your privacy online
Dennis O’Reilly writes: “I consider everything I do online—searching, browsing, shopping, email, video-viewing, you name it—as public as anything I do on Main Street in midday. That doesn’t mean I don’t take precautions to protect my credit card numbers and other private information while online, just as I do my best to keep the information secure everywhere else. The following are my Online Privacy Rules.”...
C|Net Workers’ Edge blog, Dec. 17

What Spanish-speaking users want
Trainers Lucy Iraola and Lorie Vik facilitated a Spanish-language outreach workshop in Beaverton, Oregon, recently on how libraries can make the case for serving Spanish speakers and providing materials in Spanish. The WebJunction blog summarizes some of their arguments, tactics, and resources. An earlier post gathers comments from Spanish speakers in Arkansas and Arizona about what they want from their libraries....
BlogJunction, Nov. 2, Dec. 13

A plate from the 1678 Dutch edition of Exquemelin's Buccaneers of America, showing François L’Olonais, a French pirate of TortugaExploring early America interactively
The new Library of Congress exhibit that opened December 13, “Exploring the Early Americas,” sports some high-tech interactive features to supplement the display of the physical artifacts. Some of these features are now online, where viewers can explore The Buccaneers of America (right) with a 3D digital model to simulate turning the pages of a real book, the Martin Waldseemüller maps, and the Mayan Tortuguero Box that allows rotation and examination of the image....
Library of Congress Blog, Dec. 10

The future of descriptive enrichment
Roy Tennant writes: “You may or may not have noticed it, but we just went from a world where we were the gatekeepers to information to one in which we are hanging on for dear life. We can either wise up or get out of the game. I prefer to wise up. For me this means forgetting about ‘control’ and getting good about ‘enrichment.’ Why not use all the descriptive information about an item we have at our disposal? Isn’t more descriptive information better than less?”...
Digital Libraries blog, Dec. 10

Traveler IQ quizTake your Traveler IQ
Here’s a fun test of your geographic knowledge. Speed and accuracy both count, although at this scale it's tough to differentiate between Chicago and Rockford. Originally from TravelPod. As someone commented, “The top guy overall worldwide got a 708,567 (IQ 147). I think you really get nailed if you are way off, like over 1,000 km.”...
Virtual Earth / Live Maps blog, Dec. 12

Columbia joins Google Book Search
Columbia University Libraries and Google have signed an agreement to digitize a large number of Columbia’s books in the public domain and make them available online. The project will evaluate and review hundreds of thousands of volumes from the libraries’ collections over the next six years....
Columbia University Libraries, Dec. 13

Center for History and New Media logoPooling scholars’ digital resources
The various efforts to digitize university libraries’ vast holdings have no lack of ambition, but access to documents and copyright issues have been two factors slowing the development of online scholarly repositories. Now, an effort at George Mason University seeks to bypass libraries entirely and delve into scholars’ file cabinets instead. Rather than let all that scholarship rot, or waste away in data files, the university’s Center for History and New Media sees an opportunity to create an open archive of scholarly resources in the public domain using Zotero....
Inside Higher Ed, Dec. 12

Cover of Winter 2008 issue of ThresholdSurviving in the Information Age
Ruth V. Small writes: “Digital literacy may be thought of as knowing how to effectively use the electronic ‘containers’ of information (e.g., the internet, databases, certain software packages). This definition focuses on the means by which information is communicated or learned. While the types of containers for information were somewhat limited back in 1967, in today’s world the number of types of containers has exploded, with everything from blogs to databases to wikis and websites. For 21st-century students, digital-literacy skills are essential for successful learning.”...
Threshold, Winter 2008, pp. 23–27

Innkeeper at the roach motel
Dorothea Salo writes: “Institutional repositories have not fulfilled their early promise of increased access to the scholarly journal literature through faculty initiative. Academic libraries twist in the wind, enticed by possibilities but disillusioned by results, uncertain how to proceed. Thus far, doubts about the viability of institutional repositories have been kept quiet or denied altogether. As long as libraries and repository managers remain silent about the current deplorable situation, however, no one can rectify it.”...
Library Trends (forthcoming)

Emerald Backfiles to launch at Midwinter
The UK’s Emerald Group Publishing (Booth #1938) will launch its Emerald Backfiles in conjunction with the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. Emerald is releasing a digitized full archive of its journal titles in business, management, library and information services, materials science, and engineering. Working with the British Library, more than 50,000 articles some going back to the 1800s are now in PDF format and available electronically for the first time....
Emerald Group Publishing, Dec. 13

Still from Jelte van Geest's video on his Take a seat inventionTake a seat
How hard is it to find a chair or something to sit on in the library? Usually they are taken up by people who spend all day reading the papers. Dutch designer Jelte van Geest found an amazing solution for it. You get your own seat the moment you enter the library, and it stays with you the entire time. Sounds weird? Watch the video to see it in action. (This is apparently a concept video; the robot chairs have not actually been manufactured.)...
Kimbooktu, Dec. 17; YouTube, Oct. 31

Art and Science bookends in cast bronzeLevenger bookends support Boston Public Library
For nearly four generations, Bostonians have been welcomed to the Copley Square entrance of the Boston Public Library by two heroic figures, Science on the left and Art on the right. For the first time in their 95-year history, they are being reproduced on a scale that will fit on your desk. The Levenger company is casting 8¼" replicas of Science and Art as bookends, as well as casting its support for the library through the licensing fee it pays on each sale of the bookends....
Levenger, Nov. 26

The Surfin' NLA team waxes down its bookcarts to win the National Library of Australia's Christmas Party eventSurfin’ NLA
The National Library of Australia has an annual Christmas party in its public foyer where the unexpected talents of librarians, archivists, stacks staff, communication experts, digital specialists, and IT boffins are displayed. Enjoy the video (2:19) of the “Surfing NLA” team, which won first prize at the December 14 party after they waxed down their bookcarts....
YouTube, Dec. 16

Kingsley ad

ALA Midwinter Meeting logo

ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, January 11–16. After a one-year hiatus, The Technology Showcase is back! Join 10 exciting companies as they highlight the latest trends in library technology. Presentations will occur in the Franklin Theater and Liberty Theater simultaneously, 10 a.m.–1:10 p.m., Monday, January 14. Complimentary refreshments will be served on the Exhibits floor during the presentations.

Cover of Library Technology Reports vol. 43 no. 6

Brad Eden, in Information Organization Future for Libraries, looks at reinventing or getting away from the OPAC, and tackling such new areas as 3D information visualization, mass digitization, Library 2.0, and metadata related to digital resources. In January, Library Technology Reports will begin publishing eight times per year. NEW! From ALA Publishing.

In this issue
December 2007

Cover of December 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

Poster, Working with Emergency Responders

This handy downloadable poster, Working with Emergency Responders, converted for printing as five 8.5 x 11 pages, tells how to find and build relationships with local emergency responders, as well as what responders need to know to better protect cultural institutions. Single-sheet posters are also available by mail for $2.00, from Heritage Preservation.

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

W. Wayne Booker Chair for Information Literacy and Professor of Library Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. The Chair will provide leadership for the Libraries’ teaching and learning mission internally, university-wide, and beyond, contributing to the evaluation and influencing further development of a multi-faceted information literacy program....

@ More jobs...

Library Champions logo

The Library Champions are the highest level of ALA’s corporate membership. Library Champions membership dues provide critical funding for ALA programs that promote library awareness, library advocacy, and the future of libraries in America through @ your library—The Campaign for America’s Libraries. Becoming a Library Champion is a great way for business members to get more involved in promoting the work of libraries and to demonstrate leadership in the library field. See the full list of 2007–2008 Library Champions (and thank them when you see them at Midwinter).

Digital Library of the Week

Jicarilla Apaches at the Indian Congress. Photo taken by F. A. Rinehart, 1898. TMI number 00911

The Omaha (Nebr.) Public Library hosts a website devoted to images from the Trans Mississippi and International Exposition and the concurrent Indian Congress that were held in Omaha, June 1–November 1, 1898. During the four months of the Exposition, more than 2.6 million people came to view its 4,062 exhibits. And the Indian Congress, occurring within a decade of the end of the Indian Wars, was the largest Native American gathering of its kind. The Omaha digital collection consists of approximately 1,800 photographs of the Trans Mississippi Exposition taken by F.A. Rinehart, its official photographer and the only photographer allowed on the grounds. Over 500 of these images include portraits and scenes from the Indian Congress.

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

“But who’s minding the Middleton Public Library while Rex [Libris] is gone? It’s frequently invaded by, as Rex notes, ‘some pretty tough patrons. Gods. Undead. Alien warlords. Vampires. Time travelers.’ Luckily, Rex left the library in the hands of two capable women: Circe, the Greek goddess with a fondness for bedding men (including Odysseus) and for turning them into pigs, and Hypatia, a sexy librarian who just returned from the librarian version of special-ops training.”

—Lori Mortimer, in a review of the graphic novel Rex Libris: I, Librarian, vol. 1, about the “world’s favorite kick-ass sesquepedelian librarian,” Blogcritics Magazine, Dec. 16.

Sophie Blaylock and her Newbery books

Chasing Newbery

Over recent years, several parents have reported to ALSC that their child has read each and every Newbery Medal–winning book named since 1922 when the award was first given. Our hats are off to all those who have embraced this goal and faithfully read their way through decades of award-winning titles. That is quite an achievement. Twelve-year-old Sophie Blaylock (above) of San Diego, California, achieved her Newbery reading goal and tells us all about it in this exclusive I Love Libraries interview....

Ask the ALA Librarian

City manager demands facts

Q. Our city manager is asking us for facts and figures to prove the value of the library. What is available to us?

A. This question is asked of all librarians, sooner or later, and in different forms. The answer builds on effective data gathering and solid advocacy. Beginning in September 2007, ALA has had an Office for Library Advocacy, with a mission to support the efforts of library advocates at the local, state, and national level. But the Office will be building on important work already done, including studies of libraries’ ROI (return on investment) and development of online toolkits to provide resources to assist you in presenting your case. See the ALA Professional Tips wiki for more....

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.


May 1–5:

Art Libraries Society of North America,
36th Annual Conference, Grand Hyatt Denver.

May 6–9:
Substance Abuse Librarians and Information Specialists,
30th Annual Meeting, Seattle. “SALIS @ 30: Stepping into the Future.”

May 8–10:
GLBT Archives, Libraries, Museums, and Special Collections Conference,
City University of New York Graduate Center.

May 16–21:
Medical Library Association,
Annual Meeting, Chicago. “Connections: Bridging the Gaps.”

May 21–24:
Canadian Library Association,
Annual Conference, Vancouver, B.C. “Libraries and Publishing 3.0: Connecting Authors to Readers in the Digital Age.”

May 30–
June 3:

Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials,
53rd Annual Meeting, New Orleans. “Encounter, Engagement and Exchange: How Native Populations of the Americas Transformed the World.”

June 4–6:
LOEX of the West,
University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “Hit the Jackpot: Successful Experimentation and Innovation in Instruction.”

June 5–8:
North American Serials Interest Group,
23rd Annual Conference, Tapatio Cliffs resort, near Phoenix, Arizona.

@ More...

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