committee questions EPA actions
“The purpose of these oversight hearings is to remind EPA who they are truly accountable to—the American people.” This salvo was part of U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Sen. Barbara Boxer’s (D-Calif.) February 6 opening statement at the first in a series of oversight hearings looking into recent Environmental Protection Agency actions. Backed by several library groups, ALA President Leslie Burger (above) testified about her concerns over EPA library closings and digitization efforts. (Watch a RealPlayer video of the hearing, 2:51:15; content begins at 0:16:44, Burger testimony at 2:21:50)....
Bush Library debate spurs efforts to overturn executive order
In the wake of resistance to the selection of Southern Methodist University in Dallas as the site for a George W. Bush Presidential Library and Policy Institute by a group of SMU faculty, some archivists and historians are trying to broaden the debate. The Society of American Archivists has urged SMU officials to reject the library unless the administration reverses Executive Order 13233, an edict signed by President Bush November 1, 2001, that allows incumbent or former presidents and their heirs to withhold the release of presidential papers that would otherwise be made public after 12 years, even if national security matters are not involved....
Jackson County, Oregon, approves May levy
Faced with the impending closure of the Jackson County (Oreg.) central library and all 14 branches April 6, county commissioners voted 2–1 February 7 to place a levy on the May 15 ballot that, if approved, would allow the libraries to reopen. The levy, which asks property owners to pay 66 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, would require a double majority to pass—a turnout of 50% of all registered voters, 50% of whom must approve the measure....
Mesa County exhibit provokes controversy
The American Civil Liberties Union’s Colorado chapter has asked the Mesa County (Colo.) Public Library to clarify its policies on religious displays in response to a local group’s exhibit that is critical of homosexuality and divorce. Carol Anderson said she was inspired to mount her group’s display—which urges viewers to “Call on God today. Your eternity depends on it”—by a photo exhibit of families with same-sex parents sponsored by a gay-rights advocacy group last August....
and Romans elected to Executive Board
Charles E. Kratz, dean of libraries at the University of Scranton, and Larry Romans, head of government information services at Vanderbilt University library, were elected to serve on the ALA Executive Board at the Midwinter Meeting in Seattle. Kratz and Romans will each serve three-year terms beginning in June 2007 and concluding in June 2010....
Council supports immigrants’ right to information
At the Midwinter Meeting in Seattle January 22, the ALA Council adopted a resolution opposing any legislation that infringes on the rights of anyone in the United States or its territories, citizens or otherwise, to use library resources, programs, and services at the national, state, and local levels....
Council affirms e-government and emergency services
At the Midwinter Meeting in Seattle January 22, the ALA Council adopted a resolution urging governments at all levels to acknowledge and support the essential role local libraries play in providing e-government and emergency response and recovery services....
New Woman’s Day initiative
From now until May 10, Woman’s Day magazine, in conjunction with the ALA Campaign for America’s Libraries, is collecting stories on how its readers have used the library to start their small businesses. The magazine announced the initiative in its March 6 issue, where it asks its women readers aged 18 and over to submit their stories in 700 words or less....
ALA-APA endorses nonbinding minimum salary
The ALA–Allied Professional Association endorsed a nonbinding minimum salary for professional librarians at the Midwinter Meeting in Seattle. The resolution (PDF file) endorses a minimum salary for professional librarians of not less than $40,000 per year....
Bookmobiles and innovative outreach at 2007 Diversity Fair
ALA invites participation in the 10th Annual Diversity and Outreach Fair on Saturday, June 23, 3–5 p.m., in the Washington Convention Center during Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. This year the fair will focus on bookmobile and other innovative services to underserved communities....
In the Tall Grass: Inside the Citizen-Based Justice System. Dec. 2006. Choices, VHS (978-1-933724-08-9).
This powerful film about Rwanda’s attempt at reconciliation opens with horrifying news footage of brutal killings, mass graves, and fleeing refugees, a result of the 100-day massacre of more than 800,000 Rwandans in 1994. The film is structured around a series of traditional grass-roots village courts, known as gacaca. Viewers follow genocide survivor Joanita Mukarusnaga, who openly accuses neighbor Anastasia Butera of killing her husband and children....
Booklist Online for
other reviews and much more....
March of the Librarians
This 4:58 video of sights at the Seattle convention center during the Midwinter Meeting was produced by Nick Baker, reference and web services librarian at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Baker’s wry
narration pretends to be an anthropological examination of the biannual conference migration of librarians to spend “four days of networking, vendor dodging, collecting goodies, and possibly mating.”...
YouTube, Feb. 7
Minoa Elementary School wins National Library Week grant
The Minoa (N.Y.) Elementary School is the winner of the 2007 Scholastic Library Publishing National Library Week Grant. The $5,000 grant, sponsored by Scholastic Library Publishing and administered by the ALA Public Awareness Committee, is awarded annually for the best public awareness campaign in support of National Library Week....
ACRL Distance learning librarian award
Anne Marie Casey, associate dean of libraries at Central Michigan University, has received the ACRL Distance Learning Section’s 2007 Haworth Press Distance Learning Librarian Conference Sponsorship Award. This annual award honors an ACRL member working in the field of, or contributing to the success of, distance learning librarianship or related library service in higher education....
ACRL instruction innovation award
The “Community Workshop Series” created by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library’s Instructional Services Department has won the ACRL Instruction Section’s 2007 Innovation Award. Sponsored by Lexis-Nexis, the award recognizes a project that demonstrates creative, innovative, or unique approaches to information literacy instruction or programming....
ACRL Ilene F. Rockman Publication of the Year
James K. Elmborg, associate professor at the University of Iowa SLIS, and Sheril Jane Hook, coordinator of instructional services at the University of Toronto at Mississauga, have been chosen as the winners of the ACRL Instruction Section’s Ilene F. Rockman Publication of the Year Award for their book Centers for Learning: Writing Centers and Libraries in Collaboration, ACRL Publications in Librarianship, no. 58....
ACRL Oberly award winner
AgEcon Search has been selected as the 2007 recipient of the ACRL Science and Technology Section’s Oberly Award for Bibliography in the Agricultural or Natural Sciences. The AgEcon Search database offers full-text access to publications from more than 150 academic institutions, professional societies, and government agencies....
PLA institutional scholarship winners
PLA has announced the winners of its “Grow Your Own @ your library” institutional scholarship pilot program. This year, PLA awarded nine public libraries with grants of $8,000 each to be distributed to staff members who are working to obtain a master’s degree in library and information science....
ALSC distinguished service award winner
Caroline Ward, youth services coordinator at the Ferguson Library in Stamford, Connecticut, is the 2007 recipient of the ALSC Distinguished Service Award. The award honors an individual ALSC member who has made significant contributions to, and had an impact on, library service to children and ALSC....
Bechtel Fellowship winner named
Children’s librarian Charmette Kuhn-Kendrick has been selected as the 2007 recipient of the ALSC Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship. Kuhn-Kendrick will study “The Goblins Will Get Ya: A Survey of Horror in Children’s Literature from the 19th and Early 20th Centuries” at the University of Florida’s Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature....
ALSC summer reading program grant
Santa Clara (Calif.) City Library has won the 2007 ALSC BWI Summer Reading Program Grant. The $3,000 grant, donated by BWI and administered by ALSC, provides financial assistance for public libraries to develop outstanding summer reading programs for children....
ALSC Tandem Library Books literature program grant
Diane Williamson of the Abbotts Hill (Ga.) Elementary School has won the 2007 ALSC Tandem Library Books Literature Program Grant for her program, “Kindergarten Overnighters’ Club.”...
ALSC Penguin Young Readers Group award winners
Four children’s librarians, winners of 2007 Penguin Young Readers Group Awards, will receive grants to attend their first-ever ALA Annual Conference. The winners are Rachel Martin Gould, Perkins Braille & Talking Book Library, Watertown, Mass.; Cheryl “Kay” Gooch, Gullett Elementary School, Austin, Texas; Sally L. Miculek, Austin (Tex.) Public Library; and Suzanne Myers Harold, Multnomah County (Oreg.) Library....
2006 Shubert Library Excellence Awards
The 2006 Joseph F. Shubert Library Excellence Award went to the Southeastern New York Library Resources Council for the Hudson River Valley Heritage digital access server. The Albany Public Library was the honorary winner of the 2006 Shubert Library Excellence Award for its Big Purple Bus bookmobile. The awards are sponsored by the New York State Regents Advisory Council on Libraries and funded by EBSCO Information Resources....
New York State Regents Advisory Council on Libraries
Outstanding international books
To highlight excellent titles from other nations, the United States Board on Books for Young People and the Council on Books for Children created their first annual Outstanding International Booklist in 2006. In addition to providing young readers with appealing selections (many with a distinct cultural flavor), the list aims to introduce kids to outstanding writers and illustrators from other countries, help them see the world through others’ eyes, and address topics that are missing from children’s literature in the United States....
School Library Journal, Feb. 1
School library jobs get the ax
Sixteen library media teacher positions in the Merced (Calif.) City School District will be cut next fall, the board of education decided by a 2–1 vote February 6. Susan Walsh, the Merced College librarian who said she was speaking as a voter and community activist, said the board would have to answer to parents, students, and the community for cutting library media teacher positions. She said the ability to read starts at a young age and can’t be ignored until students get to the end of junior high school....
Merced (Calif.) Sun-Star, Feb. 7
Google suffers setback in copyright case
A Belgian court February 13 ordered the search giant to refrain from showing excerpts of articles from French- and German-language Belgian newspapers on Google News and Google’s Web search site for Belgium, reaffirming an earlier ruling by the same court against the search giant. The court rejected Google’s defense that storing of cached copies of the articles and use of excerpts was fair use of the material and thus not a violation of copyright....
C|Net news, Feb. 13
Book back on Mississauga Catholic school shelves
A week after being pulled off its shelves, the best-selling David Guterson novel Snow Falling on Cedars is back in Catholic school libraries in Mississauga, Ontario. The review of the book was called after one parent complained about bad language in the novel, much of which consisted of modifications of the nouns “God” and “Jesus Christ.”...
Mississauga (Ont.) News, Feb. 8
UC Irvine to drop suit over Derrida papers
Facing a backlash from scholars worldwide, UC Irvine says it will drop a lawsuit against the widow and children of professor and philosopher Jacques Derrida, the founder of the deconstruction movement. In November, UCI had sued Derrida’s estate in federal court, saying his family had refused to relinquish manuscripts and correspondence that Derrida promised in writing to donate to the university library....
Los Angeles Times, Feb. 14
Mother says Sendak book “obscene”
Jackie Taylor says she’s appalled that a poetry book her 9-year-old daughter checked out from the library at Cedar Grove Elementary School in Smyrna, Tennessee, features what she considers “obscene” images. Pointing out caricatures of a naked young boy and a nursing mother and her carnivorous baby, Taylor believes the book I Saw Esau, The Schoolchild’s Pocket Book, edited by Iona and Peter Opie and illustrated by Maurice Sendak, is not appropriate for her daughter, Bethany....
Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Daily News Journal, Feb. 7
School benefits from latte love
A coffee retailer made literary-minded kids in the Bronx jump for joy in early February, not from the caffeine, but at the unveiling of a new library at Public School 91 paid for by Starbucks. Thanks to a partnership with the Fund for Public Schools, the coffee giant contributed $40,000 to renovate the second-floor library of the nearly century-old building....
New York Daily News, Feb. 7
Wizardry book in school library upsets parent
In West Haven, Connecticut, a book about wizardry has one mother anything but charmed. Wizardology: The Book of the Secrets of Merlin, was checked out of West Haven’s Molloy Elementary School library by Cary Alonzo’s 8-year-old daughter, and she claims it has exposed her daughter to the occult....
WTNH-TV, New Haven, Conn., Feb. 9
Councilmen donate salaries to library
When Jefferson Hills (Pa.) Councilman Michael Kulish Jr. heard that the Jefferson Hills Library needed money to make improvements, he knew he wanted to help. Kulish did so by offering to donate his $2,000 annual council salary to the library. Councilman Dominic Serapiglia has been donating his entire council salary to the library since joining council in October 2004....
Pittsburgh (Pa.) Tribune-Review, Feb. 8
Filling a library’s soul
Santa Fe, New Mexico’s first new library in 27 years is scheduled to open March 23, but city officials were all smiles February 6 as the first of the eventual 80,000-item collection arrived at the Southside branch. The books came amid orchestrated fanfare as a semitrailer was escorted by police cars, blaring horns and sirens along Jaguar Drive. Children outside César Chávez Elementary School (above) waved and held up hand-drawn signs as the convoy passed. (See more pictures and videos.)...
Santa Fe New Mexican, Feb. 7
Braille makes a comeback
The increasing number of audiobooks, followed by the appearance of personal computers with synthetic speech software, led to a view that modern technology was making Braille obsolete. But the popularity of the Braille Challenge competition is just one sign of a growing resurgence in Braille, a writing system that not so long ago seemed headed toward extinction....
Boston Globe, Feb. 11
District of Columbia library darts and laurels
Columnist Marc Fisher writes: “More than two years ago, the District, in its infinite wisdom, shut down four neighborhood libraries. Now, there are signs of both progress and further dysfunction in the District’s troubled library system. If the new Anacostia interim library is any sign of what D.C.’s new libraries will eventually look like, I’m not sure it’s worth the wait.”...
Washington Post blog, Feb. 12
Books: Liver or ice cream?
Pima County (Ariz.) public librarians and children’s authors Gina Macaluso and Mary Margaret Mercado believe books can be either liver or ice cream—just good for you, or really yummy. For Tucson’s Love of Reading Week, they want kids to get started reading books that are yummy like ice cream, “then they’ll develop a palate for everything else and learn to eat more than just ice cream,” Mercado said....
Tucson Arizona Daily Star, Feb. 12
Book scanner eliminates distortions
The Plustek OpticBook 3600 series of scanners could come in handy for digitization projects. The scanning surface extends to the edge of the machine, allowing books to hang over the edge for maximum legibility between bound pages. PC Magazine reviewed the scanner in 2004....
Boing Boing, Feb. 9; Plustek
Bigger fish: ProQuestCSA
On February 12, Cambridge Information Group’s CSA and ProQuest Information and Learning officially merged. The new privately held company will be known as ProQuestCSA. Marty Kahn (formerly of OneSource and Ovid) joins ProQuestCSA as the new CEO. Matt Dunie, president of CSA, will serve as president for the newly combined operation, which will maintain offices in both Ann Arbor and Bethesda....
Hectic Pace blog, Feb. 14
2007 Horizon Report showcases new technologies
A collaboration between the New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative, this fourth edition of the Horizon Report (PDF file) identifies six technologies that will have a significant impact on college and university campuses over the next five years. This year, the report highlights user-created content, social networking, mobile phones, virtual worlds, the new scholarship and emerging forms of publication, and massively multiplayer educational gaming....
NMC Emerging Technologies Initiative
We had to destroy the library to save it
Terry Calhoun writes: “Let’s take a look into the near future and see who wins the race to digitize the record of humanity through 2000. The winner will be the Informagical Coalition, backed by Chinese dollars, according to one of my favorite science fiction authors, Vernor Vinge, in his 1993 essay ‘The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era.’”...
Information Technology Trends, Feb. 8
Top 25 Web 2.0 search engines
The new search engines that may stand the best chance to become the next Google all share one common element—the use of Web 2.0 technology that they hope will increase search result relevance. Some offer functionality that’s slowly making its way into traditional search engines. Others further the attempt to traverse the invisible Web and index other previously unsearchable research sources....
Online Education Database, Feb. 6
New York Public Library documentary premieres February 22
From the quiet grandeur of the Rose Main Reading Room to the boisterous hum of a children’s reading hour at the Chatham Square Branch Library in Lower Manhattan, the New York Public Library comes alive in all of its complexity in a new one-hour documentary film premiering on public television February 22. The People’s Palace, a production of Kunhardt Productions and Thirteen/WNET New York, paints a sweeping portrait of the library, focusing on its history, its collections and research centers, and its librarians....
New York Public Library
EPA libraries: Where do they stand now?
Despite the fact that the Office of Management and Budget had declared that all federal agencies’ budgets would remain at FY2007 levels, the president’s FY2008 budget contains a request of $7.2 billion for the EPA ($400 million less than was actually expended in FY2006 and $100 million less than was requested by the president for the EPA in the FY2007 budget). EPA library network funding will likely be affected, but how and to what extent? Based on the February 6 Senate hearings, it’s difficult to say what will happen. Barbie E. Keiser reviews the situation to see how we got to this point....
Information Today NewsBreaks, Feb. 12
Thirteen ways of looking at a public library
With indebtedness to the Leo Burnett research team and only marginal similarity to Wallace Stevens’s poem, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird,” this list is a tour de force of what a public library is, was, and is in the process of becoming—for communities across the United States....
OCLC It’s All Good blog, Feb. 8
Preserving family treasures
No one likes to think about disasters, whether natural or man-made, but thinking ahead and preparing, together with knowledge about first steps, can save family treasures from ruin. This website provides simple instructions, as well as links to more comprehensive information for protecting many types of family treasures. Sponsored by an ALA Carnegie-Whitney Award....
Library of Congress Preservation Directorate
Library dress codes: Tattoos, body piercing, and physical appearance
Attorneys Gerard E. Dempsey and Janet N. Petsche look at three aspects of dress codes that have evolved into “protected” forms of expression. They recommend, “In particular, the library should impose only standards that have some objective, legitimate business justification.”...
North Suburban Library System (Wheeling, Ill.) e-newsletter, Feb. 8
Know your copy rights
The Association of Research Libraries has developed a brochure that gives faculty and teaching assistants in higher education an understandable explanation of when and how they can legally use intellectual property in their teaching, often without requesting permission or paying fees. An electronic copy of the brochure is available free on the Know Your Copy Rights website....
Association of Research Libraries, Feb. 12
School Librarian for a Day in Chicago
School Librarian for a Day is a joint initiative between the Chicago Public Schools Department of Libraries and Information Services and the Metropolitan Library System, where library leaders from MLS libraries (public, academic, and special) throughout the Chicago area will be invited to spend most of a school day in a CPS school library with a CPS school librarian. The first “School Librarian for a Day” will take place at various Chicago Public Schools on Monday, April 23. Applications are due at the MLS Burr Ridge office by February 20....
Metropolitan Library System
How they tell stories in Scotland
The East Renfrewshire Council is holding its third Storytelling Festival February 6–March 4. This year’s festival features storytellers from all backgrounds and locations, from Fife to far-flung folk from Australia and the USA. Librarians throughout the council region will tell stories about everything from football to fish and fairies....
East Renfrewshire Council, Scotland
Child Care and Camp at Annual Conference. ACCENT on Children’s Arrangements, Inc. has planned a great children’s activity center for ALA attendees’ children.
Teen Tech Week, March 4–10, is a new event that helps you illustrate the wealth of technology that can be found at your school or library. With this poster, you can let the teens in your community know that your space is the place to go for electronic resources such as DVDs, databases, audio books, and electronic games. NEW! From ALA Editions.
The first annual ALA TechSource Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium will be held in Chicago July 22–24. The deadline for submitting a proposal to present is March 1. For details, contact Teresa Koltzenburg.
Race and Place: A Personal Account of Unequal Access
Historically Black Colleges and Universities
the CentenniAL Blog
Gaming advocates may find a sort of spiritual forefather in Graham Romeyn Taylor (1880–1942), whose address to the 1910 ALA Annual Conference was reprinted, along with the rest of the conference proceedings, in the September issue of the ALA Bulletin that year (p. 668–671). While he wasn’t advocating for library Pong tournaments (let alone Dance Dance Revolution), it’s not difficult to see how his themes, plus 97 years, equal the themes of today.
Now you can connect directly to an updated list of all of the ALA blogs, feeds, wikis, Flickr pictures, podcasts, and other features directly from the ALA home page. Look for the icon above.
Biological and Agricultural Sciences Librarian, University of California at Davis. This position maintains an understanding of relevant research and teaching programs within the sections and departments that the position supports, including pertinent genetics research institutes such as the new Genome Center and the Rowe Program in Molecular Medicine and Human Genetics; and responds to trends and creates new initiatives in science reference practices, using information technologies and exploring new models of scholarly communication....
The University of Virginia’s Claude Moore Health Sciences Library is hosting “Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America’s Women Physicians,” a traveling exhibition sponsored by the Public Programs Office from March 2 to April 13. The exhibition tells the history of the American women who have practiced medicine over the past two centuries.
“I don’t want to check out my own books. I want a nice librarian person to do it for me. Preferably a very genteel, softly spoken one, who will smile as they flip open the front cover to reveal that iconic gummed sheet which they will then stamp with the date of return, using —what else but a good old-fashioned stamp and an ink pad.”
Columnist Virginia Mason, on hearing that the Halifax Central Library in West Yorkshire, U.K., plans to install self-checkout machines, Halifax Evening Courier, Feb. 8.
librarians: Apply for free American art resources from
America project by March 19. The goals
of the project are to promote the teaching, study, and understanding
of American art and history in K12 schools.
do YOU think?
February 7 poll:
Does your library archive local blogs?
is an unscientific poll that reflects the opinions of only
those AL Direct readers who have chosen to participate.
the ALA Librarian
Q. I see that LAMA, YALSA, and ALCTS all have 50th anniversaries this year. What happened in 1957 that so many divisions were started?
In 1954, the management consulting firm of Cresap, McCormick, and Paget was hired to review ALA structures, governance, and fiscal policies. The report, released to the membership at the 1955 Annual Conference in Philadelphia, made several recommendations, with some leading to a restructuring of the organization into type-of-library divisions and type-of-activity divisions. With the implementation of restructuring in 1957, there were 12 divisions. Find out more on the ALA
Professional Tips wiki....
ALA Librarian welcomes
40th California International Book Fair, Concourse Exhibition Center, San Francisco. Contact: Winslow & Associates, 800-454-6401.
Boston Antiquarian Book and Ephemera Fair, Bayside Expo Center. Contact: New England Antique Shows.
Pennsylvania School Librarians’ Association, Annual Conference, Hershey Lodge and Convention Center. “The Future Is in Your Hands @ your library.” Contact: Nancy Smith.
Second Iberoamerican Conference on Librarianship, Buenos Aires, Argentina. “Bibliotecas y nuevas lecturas en el espacio digital.” Contact: ABGRA.
Missouri Association of School Librarians, Spring Conference, Osage Beach. “Unleash the Power @ your library.” Contact: MASL.
Coalition for Networked Information, Spring Task Force Meeting, Hyatt Regency Phoenix. Contact: Jackie Eudell, 202-296-5098.
Computers in Libraries 2007, Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia. “Beyond Library 2.0: Building Communities, Connections, and Strategies.” Contact: 800-300-9868.
Center for Summer Learning, National Conference, Sheraton Atlanta Hotel. “Celebrate Summer as a Season for Learning.” Contact: CSL, 410-516-6228.
EndUser 2007 Endeavor Users Group Meeting, Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center, Schaumburg, Illinois. Contact: Stan Christensen.
Art Libraries Society of North America, 35th Annual Conference, Atlanta. Contact: ARLIS/NA.
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