February 28,

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

Sponsor: Sirsi Dynix

U.S. & World News

Higher Power of Lucky coverScrotum flap raises ruckus over librarians’ sensibilities
A thread on a school-library discussion list about the 2007 Newbery Award winner The Higher Power of Lucky has catapulted the practice of school librarianship onto the front page of the February 18 New York Times. As of February 23, it had also propelled the novel into the top 40 on’s bestseller list—demonstrating that, for reading material at least, there is no such thing as bad publicity. Read the AASL/ALSC joint statement on the book’s true value, and author Susan Patron’s latest observations in the Los Angeles Times....

Filtering policy jeopardizes Rochester library’s funding
Monroe County (N.Y.) Executive Maggie Brooks has threatened to pull $7.5 million in county funding for the Rochester Public Library’s Central Library because of its policy allowing patrons to view blocked websites on request. The American Civil Liberties Union criticized Brooks’s action February 22 and reproached the library for reacting to it by putting a temporary moratorium on unblocking lawful websites....

Cuba, by Sharon Gordon, one of the books checked outMiami-Cuban parent won’t wait for Vamos court decision
The mother of an elementary school student has checked out two controversial books from a Miami–Dade County public school, saying she wants to prevent children from getting the wrong impression about life in Cuba. Dalila Rodriguez, a member of the Concerned Cuban Parents Committee, said in the February 21 Miami Herald that she did not plan to return them and would “lock them in a box.” Records show the books were due back February 21 at the Norma Butler Bossard Elementary School library....

Drying damaged materials from the Kentucky Room at Lexington Public LibraryKentucky rare books survive burst pipe
A ruptured pipe attached to a rooftop cooling tower sent water cascading onto rare books and other materials in the third-floor Kentucky Room at the Lexington Public Library. The February 19 nighttime accident also drenched staff offices and ruined about 400 books in the biography section, forcing the library to close for a day and a half....

ALA News

Front view of the building that was donated to ALA (as was our half of the ALA/Arts Island).ALA/Arts Island to open in Second Life
ALA now has a space in Second Life, the online community of more than one million users and home to a growing number of library organizations. Jenny Levine, ALA internet development specialist, said the Association would have one half of ALA/Arts Island for disseminating news and information. For those familiar with the terrain, ALA/Arts Island will be directly next to Cybrary City I....

Hear the ALA candidates
ALA presidential candidates Nancy Davenport and Jim Rettig and ALA treasurer candidates Rodney Hersberger and Jo Ann Pinder explain in this 56:17 audiocast why you should vote for them. Recorded at the Midwinter Meeting Candidates’ Forum in Seattle in January....
ALA Member blog, Feb. 16

ALA-APA logoLibraries to receive ALA-APA library salary survey
Almost 4,000 public and academic libraries are being asked to participate in the 2007 ALA-APA Library Salary Survey. Letters are being sent out the week of February 26 addressed to the library director or human resources manager in envelopes with the ALA-APA logo. This year, the librarian and non-MLS salary surveys will be combined. The deadline for completing the web-based survey is March 30....

Submit a star for National Library Workers Day
Start the celebration early for National Library Workers Day by submitting information about your favorite worker and what makes him or her special. Stars will be honored at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., and will be featured on the ALA-APA site for one year. The deadline for submissions is National Library Workers Day, April 17, during National Library Week....

ALA-APA unveils Union wiki
ALA-APA has created ALA-APA Union, a user-contributed wiki that is a resource both for current union members and for library professionals seeking information about joining or starting a union....

Bad Luck and Trouble coverFeatured review: Adult books
Child, Lee. Bad Luck and Trouble. May 2007. 384p. Delacorte, hardcover (978-0-385-34055-7).
The latest Jack Reacher thriller marks a significant departure from the rest of the series. Former military policeman Reacher, now a wanderer without an address, a phone, or an email, discovers that someone has deposited $1,030 in his bank account and quickly deduces (1030 is the MP’s code for urgent assistance needed) that the money represents a call for help from Frances Neagley, a sergeant in Reacher’s old “special investigators” unit. Four members of the unit have been killed, and Neagley is rounding up the survivors to avenge their colleagues and, thus, live up to the group’s motto: “You don’t mess with the special investigators.”...

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

D.C. Update

Ford's Theatre in the 19th centuryFord’s Theatre National Historic Site
Ford’s Theatre at 511 10th Street, NW, is an active theater used for live performances. It is well-known as the site of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865. After he was shot, Lincoln was carried across the street to the Petersen House where he died the next morning. The theatre and house are preserved together as Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site. Admission is free, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The Ford’s Theatre Society launched a blog recently....
Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site

Kenneth Noland, acrylic on canvas, a featured work in the Washington Color School exhibition at the Phillips CollectionThe Phillips Collection
The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street, NW, became the first modern art museum in the United States in 1921 when Duncan Phillips opened his home collection to the public. It features works by Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Albert Pinkham Ryder, and Georgia O’Keefe. Some of the highlights include Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party (1881) and the Mark Rothko Room. Special exhibitions during Annual Conference will feature American Impressionism and the Washington Color School artists....
The Phillips Collection

Division News

Support teen literature on April 19
YALSA is celebrating its first ever Support Teen Literature Day on April 19 as part of ALA’s National Library Week celebration. The event also will be the official launch of YALSA’s 2007 Teen Read Week initiative, which will be celebrated October 14–20 with the theme “LOL @ your library.” The humor theme is meant to encourage teens nationwide to take time to read something light and entertaining just for the fun of it....

AASL National Conference logoRegistration open for AASL National Conference
Register now for AASL’s 13th National Conference and Exhibition in Reno, Nevada, October 25–28, by visiting the conference website.The conference will feature keynote speaker Dan Pink, author of A Whole New Mind; special appearances by award-winning authors Wendelin Van Draanen and David Lubar; and Omar Wasow, cofounder of

Frances HesselbeinHesselbein to speak at LAMA President’s Program
Frances Hesselbein, chairman of the Board of Governors of the Leader to Leader Institute, will be the featured speaker at the 2007 LAMA President’s Program in Washington, D.C., June 24, 1:30–3:30 p.m., in Washington. Hesselbein was the founding president of the Peter F. Drucker Foundation and was CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA from 1976 to 1990....

ALCTS Spring Continuing Education Events
Registration is now open for four ALCTS Spring Continuing Education Events: Basic Collection Development and Management; Basic Subject Cataloging Using LCSH; Principles of Controlled Vocabulary and Thesaurus Design; and Rules and Tools for Cataloging Internet Resources....

YALSA offers two preconferences
YALSA is offering two preconferences prior to the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.: “Beginner’s Guide to Teens in Libraries” and “Sins of Young Adult Literature.” Both will be held on Friday, June 22....

Registration open for ACRL Virtual Conference
Can’t make it to Baltimore? You can still participate in ACRL’s National Conference. The ACRL Virtual Conference, held completely online March 30–31, will include live, interactive webcasts of selected speakers, as well as text-based discussion boards, blogs, and speaker materials....

ACRL’s Choice upgrades, gives away iPods
Choice magazine congratulates Alyssa Marten from Troy University and Ann Brownson from Eastern Illinois University, the two lucky winners of the iPod Nanos that the editors raffled off at the 2007 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle. The giveaway accompanied the launch of Choice Reviews Online 2.0...

AASL launches standards wiki
On March 1, AASL is launching an interactive wiki about new standards for school library media programs and invites members to make live changes to the draft document....

AASL notes Rowan University SLMS program
AASL continues its national recognition of the master’s-level School Library Media Specialist degree offered by the Department of Special Educational Services/Instruction at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey, under the ALA/AASL Standards for Initial Programs for School Library Media Specialist Preparation (PDF file)....


Winston TabbWinston Tabb wins Humphry Award
Winston Tabb, dean of university libraries at John Hopkins University, is this year’s recipient of the International Relations Committee’s John Ames Humphry / OCLC / Forest Press Award. The cash award of $1,000 is given to an individual for a significant contribution to international librarianship....

SirsiDynix ALA-APA Award for Improving Salaries
ALA-APA: The Organization for the Advancement of Library Employees has selected three winners of this award, which honors those who have helped improve the salaries and status of library workers. The winners are the Alachua County (Fla.) Library District, Connie Vinita Dowell, and Theresa McMahan....

David R. DowellDavid R. Dowell wins ACRL community/junior college award
David R. Dowell, director of the Library/Learning Resource Center at Cuesta College, is the 2007 winner of the ACRL Community and Junior College Libraries Section EBSCO Community College Learning Resources Leadership Award. The award honors significant achievement in the advocacy of learning resources....

Patricia Libutti named EBSS distinguished librarian
Patricia O’Brien Libutti, social sciences/education librarian emerita at Rutgers University Libraries, has received the 2007 ACRL Education and Behavioral Sciences Section Distinguished Education and Behavioral Sciences Librarian Award. This award honors a distinguished academic librarian who has made an outstanding contribution as an education and/or behavioral sciences librarian....

West European Specialist Study Grant winner
Thea Lindquist, assistant professor of history and Germanic language and literature librarian at the University of Colorado at Boulder, has received the 2007 ACRL Western European Studies Section Coutts Nijhoff International West European Specialist Study Grant....

CLOCKSS logoBrian SchottlaenderNew ALCTS awards winners
The winners of two new ALCTS awards, the Ross Atkinson Lifetime Achievement Award and the ALCTS Outstanding Collaboration Citation, have been announced. Brian Schottlaender, university librarian at the University of California at San Diego, is the recipient of the 2007 Ross Atkinson Lifetime Achievement Award. CLOCKSS, or Controlled LOCKSS, is the inaugural recipient of the ALCTS Outstanding Collaboration Citation....

ALSC Maureen Hayes Award winner
Athens County Library Services in Nelsonville, Ohio, is the recipient of ALSC’s 2007 Maureen Hayes Award. The award provides up to $4,000 to an ALSC member library to fund a visit from an author or illustrator to speak to children who have not had the opportunity to hear an author or illustrator before. Children’s illustrators Christopher and Jeanette Canyon will visit the Plains and Athens branches....

Bogle-Pratt Travel Fund winner
Dora T. Ho is this year’s recipient of the International Relations Committee’s Bogle-Pratt International Library Travel Fund. Ho is a young adult librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library who is planning to attend the Library Society of China Annual Conference in July 2007....

LITA/Endeavor award deadline extended
The deadline for the LITA/Endeavor Student Writing Award has been extended to April 2. The $1,000 award is for the best unpublished manuscript submitted by a student enrolled in an ALA-accredited graduate program....

The T.O.T.A.L. crew, year oneNashville Teens win ULC award
The Nashville Public Library T.O.T.A.L. (Totally Outstanding Teen Advocates for the Library) has won the Urban Libraries Council / Highsmith Award of Excellence for 2007. The program employs teen library advocates who promote literacy, learning, and the library to their peers and the community at large. Established in 2005, T.O.T.A.L. has developed and presented more than 40 public programs to date, including spoken-word and poetry evenings and issues-based workshops...
Urban Libraries Council; Nashville Tennessean, Feb. 22

Nominations for CILIP best reference awards
The U.K. Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals has released its nominations list for best printed and electronic reference books of 2006. The winners will be presented with the awards at a special ceremony on April 18....
Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, Feb. 26

Seen Online

House revives DOPA bill
A Republican congressman is resurrecting a contentious federal proposal designed to ban chat rooms and so-called social-networking websites in schools and libraries. On February 16, Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) reintroduced the Deleting Online Predators Act, H.R. 1120, apparently identical to a version that earned overwhelming approval last summer. It would require schools and libraries that receive e-rate funding to certify that they are blocking access to any “commercial social networking Web site or chat room unless used for an educational purpose with adult supervision.”...
C|net news, Feb. 20

Inspector General Audit of Reading First programReport criticizes bias in federal Reading First program
The U.S. Department of Education “did not adequately assess issues of bias and lack of objectivity” during the early days of the Reading First program, according to a report (PDF file) issued February 22 by the department’s inspector general. The report is the latest in a series of critical accounts of Reading First, a $900-million-per-year component of the No Child Left Behind Act....
Chronicle of Higher Education news blog, Feb. 23

America’s High School Graduates: Results from the 2005 NAEP High School Transcript StudyGrades are up, but learning is down
American high school students are taking tougher classes, getting better grades and, apparently, learning less than their counterparts of 15 years ago. Those were the discouraging implications of two reports issued February 22 by the federal Department of Education assessing the performance of students in public and private schools. Together, the reports raise sobering questions about the past two decades of educational reform, including whether the movement to raise school standards has amounted to much more than window dressing....
Los Angeles Times, Feb. 23

FTC report on COPPAFTC says COPPA protects children’s privacy
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, passed in 1998 to shield children’s privacy online, has been effective in protecting young children without excessively burdening website operators, the Federal Trade Commission said in a report (PDF file) to Congress released February 27. The report also cites social networking websites and mobile internet access as “new and emerging issues.”...
Associated Press, Feb. 27

Narcissism on the rise, study warns
All the effort to boost children’s self-esteem may have backfired and produced a generation of college students who are more narcissistic than their Gen X predecessors, according to a new study led by San Diego State University psychologist Jean Twenge. And the internet, with all its MySpace and YouTube braggadocio, is letting that self-regard blossom even more, according to the study, Egos Inflating over Time, released February 27....
Los Angeles Times, Feb. 27

Reid Memorial Library branch, Passaic, N.J.Residents protest plan to close historic Passaic library
A plan to close the Reid Memorial Library branch in Passaic, New Jersey, was met with residents’ concerns and heated questions over the fate of the 104-year-old building at a February 27 trustee meeting. The plan, if approved, would move Reid’s children’s collection into what is now an 850-square-foot billiard room on the second floor of the Passaic Boys and Girls Club. Angry audience members interrupted Board President Craig Miller so often that at one point, he had to call for decorum....
West Paterson (N.J.) Herald News, Feb. 28

Cal Poly Pomona reference librarian protests discards
A $60-million project to expand the library at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona is at the center of a controversy over whether the library is throwing away too many books to make space for a café, 23 group-study rooms, and a two-story reading room. Reference Librarian Bruce Emerton has launched a petition to halt the disposal of books, journals, and other printed materials and is calling for an independent audit of all discarded items. Watch his video....
Riverside (Calif.) Press-Enterprise, Feb. 25

Spy camera upsets library employees
When Janet Steiner, director of the Tompkins County (N.Y.) Public Library, suspected that money in the library’s cash donation box appeared to be missing, she called the Ithaca Police Department. Officers placed a surveillance camera disguised as a clock radio in the library’s main lobby. More than 35 library employees then signed a petition against it, saying the camera situation was the latest in a series of disagreements between union employees and library management....
Elmira (N.Y.) Star-Gazette, Feb. 23

New Merced College libraryMerced College unveils new LRC
The scents of fresh paint and new carpets greeted Merced (Calif.) College students February 26 as administrators officially opened the school’s $18.3-million library. The new learning resources center is two floors and 65,000 square feet in size, making it the largest building at the 12,258-student campus....
Merced (Calif.) Sun-Star, Feb. 27

Gamer loses laptop using library wireless after hours
Brian Tanner was sitting in his car recently outside the Palmer (Alaska) Public Library playing online games when a police officer pulled up behind him. Tanner was using the library’s wireless internet connection, but the policeman said that constituted theft of services. The second time he got caught, the officer confiscated Tanner’s laptop to inspect what he may have been downloading....
Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News, Feb. 24

New Oregon branch will only stay open for six weeks
Jackson County, Oregon, libraries face an uncertain future, but that didn’t stop Talent branch library supporters from celebrating the opening of their new building on February 25. Several hundred people gathered to mark the completion of the new library, even though it will have to close, just like all the other county libraries, on April 6 for lack of operating funds....
Medford (Oreg.) Mail Tribune, Feb. 26

Longmont meeting room policy examined
Longmont (Colo.) Public Library Director Tony Brewer is consulting with city attorneys after an immigrant-rights nonprofit closed library meeting room doors on a man with opposing views. Several city residents have called the library to ask what constitutes public, tax-funded space, Brewer said. The only answer he can give at this point is the library’s written policy, which says library rooms are “free and open to the public.”...
Longmont (Colo.) Daily Times-Call, Feb. 22

Kanawha County librarian worries as deadline nears
Kanawha County Library Director Linda Wright is worried about the solution to a big budget problem taking shape in the state senate. A bill up for vote February 28 would put the fate of more than 35% of the library’s budget in the hands of Kanawha County voters every five years; and if voters were to reject the funding, many library activities would have to be considered for cuts....
Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail, Feb. 27–28

Cell phones in Salem
Columnist Carol McAlice Currie writes: “The Salem (Oreg.) Public Library needs a new sign. The shush sign need only be about 2 feet wide with oversized type in a half-dozen commonly spoken languages. It should have pictographs, just in case some patrons can’t read.... Shutting off cell phones in places such as a library (or a bathroom) should be a no-brainer.”...
Salem (Oreg.) Statesman-Journal, Feb. 28

Tech Talk

Hectic Pace logoMore leadership changes and mergers
Andrew Pace writes: “One rarely has time to get bored with the ILS industry these days. VTLS has announced that industry veteran Carl Grant will be stepping down as president, and LibLime has just acquired the Koha Division of New Zealand-based Katipo Communications.”...
Hectic Pace blog, Feb. 28

Blinkx logoBlinkx searches online video content
The World Wide Web is awash in digital video, but too often we can’t find the videos we want or browse for what we might like. What we need, says Suranga Chandratillake, a cofounder of Blinkx, a start-up in San Francisco, is a remote control for the Web’s videos, a kind of electronic TV Guide. He’s got just the thing....
New York Times, Feb. 25

Videos have the Net bursting at the seams
Those amusing YouTube video clips that internet users send to friends gobble up large chunks of bandwidth and may cause the Net to crash, some elements of the telecom industry warn. It’s an admonition many dismiss as political posturing intended to dissuade lawmakers from restricting the freedom of phone companies to manage internet traffic as they wish. But no one disagrees that the Web’s capacity is being pushed to its limits....
Chicago Tribune, Feb. 23

Wii packageWhat of the Wii-buked?
Ross Rubin writes: “The launch of the Wii has been nothing but magic mushrooms from the hype around the controller to the E3 reception to late-night Wii Tennis face-offs between Conan O’Brien and Serena Williams. I thought it was the best consumer technology product of 2006. The Nintendo team has executed almost flawlessly, but the company has brushed aside criticisms regarding product shortages without so much as a flick from a Wiimote. In a way it was a sign of different approaches by Sony and Nintendo, but it was also a sign of the differences between the two user bases.”...
Switched On column, Engadget blog, Feb. 21

Many libraries may wonder whether on-staff web-design expertise is truly necessary, given the proliferation of content-management systems and WYSIWYG tools such as FrontPage and Dreamweaver. In practice, ease of content creation has tended to trump all other concerns in libraries, which has produced some truly unfortunate results measured by both patron and staff concerns.... blog, Feb. 19

The Oscars for tech film flubs
Nominees for this year’s Oscars may have displayed some top-notch filmmaking, but they were by no means perfect. Sharp-eyed moviegoers have pointed out all manner of technology missteps, scientific blunders, and cameos by gadgets that didn’t exist when their films were set....
C|net news, Feb. 23

One of the default images that appear as display “wallpaper” in the Windows XP operating system was taken in Burlington, Ontario. Peter Burian Photo.Seen this scene before?
After an exhaustive search that almost brought Vanity Fair journalist Nick Tosches to his knees, sifting through sources from Lake Como in Italy to Colborne, Ontario, he finally found where this Windows XP desktop wallpaper photo was taken. It turns out that the leaf-littered lane that stole his heart one afternoon when he first glimpsed it on his computer is just west of Toronto in the Burlington suburb of Kilbride....
Toronto (Ont.) Star, Feb. 22

The killing of Wi-Fi?
PC Magazine pundit John C. Dvorak speculates: “There is mounting evidence that the cellular service companies are going to do whatever they can to kill Wi-Fi. After all, it is a huge long-term threat to them. We’ve seen that the route to success in America today is via public gullibility and general ignorance. And these cell-phone service companies are no dummies.”...
PC Magazine, Feb. 26

Google Premium: Don’t get too excited
Google has announced the business-class version of its application suite, Google Apps. It’s widely seen as a serious threat to Microsoft’s Office suite, primarily since it costs $50 a year per user, which deeply undercuts the price of Office. However, it is simply not there yet. The word processor and spreadsheet can’t exchange data, the spreadsheet has no graphing function, and there is no PowerPoint equivalent yet....
C|net news, Feb. 22

Actions & Answers

Highlights from week two of Five Weeks to a Social Library
In the second week of the free online course Five Weeks to a Social Library, RSS and generated a lot of excitement for participants and many could see the personal and professional benefits of using these tools. More info can be found on the course’s blog....
Information Wants to Be Free blog, Feb. 25

Clip from The L-Team, showing Jodi "Pa" PsoterAsk the L-Team
Nick Baker and Rob Grote of the Williams College Library in Williamstown, Massachusetts, put together this video extolling the virtues of their reference team for National Library Week 2007. “Ten years ago, a group of bibliophiles was sent to library school for being overinquisitive. They promptly escaped to the Williamstown underground, where they survived as Librarians of Fortune.”...
YouTube, Feb. 14

How to submit a FOIA request
A FOIA request can be as simple as a letter requesting records. However, your pursuit of government information will be more likely to succeed if you do some preliminary research to identify where the information is likely to be located, and how to draft an effective request....
Public Citizen

Ernie Ingles. Photo by OCLCOCLC Members Council meets in Quebec City
OCLC Members Council met in Quebec City, Canada, February 5–7 to explore issues facing libraries and the OCLC cooperative from a different perspective and vantage point. It was the first time in the 29-year history of Members Council that the body has convened outside the United States. Ernie Ingles (above), OCLC Members Council president and chief librarian of the University of Alberta, presided....
OCLC, Feb. 23

New website for math and science students, developed by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth, offers a virtual home for the world’s brightest students with strong interests and abilities in mathematics and science. The site offers free use to all visitors, who can access most of its resources and learn about everything from global warming to cold fusion....
Johns Hopkins University, Feb. 15

The Big Read logoApply for The Big Read
The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest) designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. Approximately 120 organizations in communities of varying sizes across the country will be selected to participate in The Big Read from September through December 2007. An intent to apply form is an optional requirement by March 1. All requests for proposals must be submitted by April 12....
National Endowment for the Arts

Cat in the Hat 50th birthday logoSend a birthday card to the Cat
Early-literacy organization First Book is partnering with Random House Children’s Books and Dr. Seuss Enterprises to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication of The Cat in the Hat. Random House will donate one new book to First Book for each card received through May 1. Visit to send an e-card, or see details for mailing in one of your own. Special cards are also included in the new 50th Anniversary edition of The Cat in the Hat....
First Book

Ljubljana, SloveniaSummer seminars in Slovenia and Czech Republic
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science is offering seminars on librarianship in Slovenia June 3–16 and the Czech Republic May 27–June 9. The registration deadline is March 15....
University of North Carolina SILS

Annual Conference 2007 logo

ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., is coming soon. Register by March 2 to receive up to 30% off the on-site rates. Speakers include Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Ken Burns, Julie Andrews, Elizabeth Edwards, and Khaled Hosseini (author of The Kite Runner).

For more information about events, both official and unofficial, visit the Annual Conference wiki.

ALA READ tote bag

Tote your stuff at Annual Conference with this stylish READ tote bag that shows off your love of reading. It also works well for trips to the bookstore and the beach. NEW! From ALA Graphics.

Librarian’s E-Library is a Google-based custom search engine that searches more than 260 selected resources on libraries and librarianship. Developed by the ALA Library, the search can narrow your results to a manageable level. To volunteer a resource for the search engine, contact Karen Muller.

In this issue
March 2007

Current AL cover

Mattering in the Blogosphere: Observations from the Well-Connected

Search Fatigue

Midwinter Meeting Report

From the CentenniAL Blog

Barbara Gittings and author Isabel Miller at the Task Force on Gay Liberation's "Hug a Homosexual" kissing booth at the 1971 ALA Annual Conference.

Leonard Kniffel writes: “In the December 1999 issue, American Libraries published a three-page interview with Barbara Gittings. She sat for the interview at ALA’s Annual Conference in New Orleans, where she had come to see the task force become a full-fledged round table, now called the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table. Gittings was an activist of the first order, but she was a professional activist. She understood what worked and what didn’t in the context of the American civil rights movement....”

AL 100 logo

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Panhandle Regional Library System Coordinator, Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Exceptional opportunity for a versatile professional to provide services for a multitype regional library system in a 14-county area in western Nebraska. Responsible for coordinating activities of the Panhandle Library System Board with the Nebraska Library Commission....

@ More jobs...

Rayburn House Office Building

Join hundreds of fellow attendees for Library Day on the Hill, noon to 6 p.m., Tuesday, June 26, a historic opportunity to show the value of libraries to the Members of Congress. The day will include a Hearing on the Hill on the importance of all types of libraries, and displays around the Halls of Congress informing passers-by about each type of library and the services they provide. To register, use the online registration form.

Public Perception
How the World
Sees Us

I've decided that librarians who would decline to have a Newbery book in their libraries because they don’t like the word scrotum are probably not real librarians (whom I still love unconditionally). I think they’re rogue librarians who have gone over to the dark side.”

—British author Neil Gaiman on the Higher Power of Lucky controversy, in his blog Neil Gaiman’s Journal, Feb. 20.

Katrina damage at Long Beach (Miss.) Library

The Chapter Relations Office tells some of the stories behind the chapters, Friends groups, and Adopt-A-Library efforts that are contributing to relief for libraries hit by Hurricane Katrina. For example, Beitel Elementary School in Laramie, Wyoming, puts on an annual fundraiser to help teach students the gift of giving and the importance of taking action in their community. Students have raised $800 so far.

Langston Community branch of the DC Public Library, one confirmed site where volunteers will gather

Volunteer to help libraries in the D.C. area during Libraries Build Communities, 8 a.m.–5 p.m., Friday, June 22, or Tuesday, June 26, during ALA Annual Conference. Exact jobs will be determined as we work with the District of Columbia Public Library and community service groups. Participants will be notified in advance of the various projects and be able to pick the one in which they wish to participate. The registration fee will be contributed to local library funds. Lunch, transportation, and a participation t-shirt are included. Tickets are $10. To register, use the online registration form.

What do YOU do?

What is your patron cell phone policy?

Click here to ANSWER!

Results of the
February 21 poll:

Is the use of the word “scrotum” in Susan Patron’s The Higher Power of Lucky gratuitous?



(315 responses)

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

Ask the ALA Librarian

Chicago Public Library summer reading poster 2006

Q. Our library is doing a summer reading program for the first time. Is there a national theme for these programs? What can I tell my board about the benefits?

Summer reading programs have been a part of public library life since the 1890s. They have proven successful in attracting children to libraries during the summer months, with research showing that kids who keep the reading habit through the long vacation do better when they return to school. Themes are locally developed, sometimes on a statewide basis, with a number of states cooperating. Find out more on the ALA Professional Tips wiki....

The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.



Apr. 1314: Alternative Print Culture: Social History and Libraries, A Symposium in Honor of James P. Danky, Wisconsin Historical Society Center for the History of Print Culture in Modern America, Madison. Contact: Irene Hanson.

Apr. 30
May 2:

Grants 101, Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma City. Sponsored by The Grant Institute. Contact: 888-824-4424.

May 1–3:
Northeast Document Conservation Center, School for Scanning: The A-Z of Creating Digital Collections, Marriott Minneapolis City Center. Contact: NEDCC, 978-470-1010.

June 4–15:
German Script Course, Moravian Archives, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

June 1113:
Current Issues: Books in Spanish for Young Readers, Barahona Center for the Study of Books in Spanish for Children and Adolescents, California State University, San Marcos. Contact: Isabel Schon, 760-750-4070.

June 1822: American Antiquarian Society, Seminar in the History of the Book in American Culture, Worcester, Massachusetts. “Re-Reading the Early Republic: From Crèvecoeur to Cooper.” Contact: Joanne Chaison.

June 25–27:
Books and Reading Strategies for Bilingual Students in Grades K–8, Barahona Center for the Study of Books in Spanish for Children and Adolescents, California State University, San Marcos. Contact: Isabel Schon, 760-750-4070.

July 1618:
Books in Spanish for Children and Adolescents, Barahona Center for the Study of Books in Spanish for Children and Adolescents, California State University, San Marcos. Workshop conducted in Spanish; however, Spanish-speaking ability not required. Contact: Isabel Schon, 760-750-4070.

July 30
Aug. 10:

University of California at Los Angeles California Rare Book School, six one-week courses on rare book librarianship and the history of books and printing. Contact: Claire Raffel, 310-794-4138.

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