director Mielke to step down
After less than three years in the position, Indianapolis–Marion
County Public Library CEO Linda Mielke will step down January 15. Board
President Louis Mahern said the move was mutually agreed upon by Mielke
and the trustees. She will receive nearly $70,000 in severance pay as
called for in her contract....
Stars spark media-center challenge
The principal of the Toisnot Middle School in Wilson, North Carolina,
has removed from circulation The Kissing Stars by Geralyn Dawson,
pending its review by the school’s Media Advisory Committee in January.
In the meantime, principal Craig Harris told the December 21 Wilson
Daily Times, he and the media center coordinator are documenting
independently of each other any passages in the historical romance novel
that either considers inappropriate for middle-schoolers....
director’s comments reveal hostility towards privacy
In a November 30 written response (PDF
file) to the U.S. Senate, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director
Robert S. Mueller III again demonstrated that the Department of Justice
fails to comprehend the role of libraries and the importance of privacy
in the United States. The FBI submitted Mueller’s answers in response
to written questions that followed the May 2, 2006, hearing before the
Senate Committee on the Judiciary regarding FBI oversight....
ALA membership survey results
More than 2,000 members told ALA they are using the Association’s website more than in 2004, and member satisfaction with the website has increased 28%. The 2006 ALA Member Communications Study, conducted in October and November, was commissioned to assist ALA in identifying areas in communications with members where improvements can be made and to note any key changes since the first-ever member study in 2004....
research and statistics project manager
Larra Clark, formerly ALA’s manager of media relations, will join
the Office of Research and Statistics staff as project manager for the
Library Funding and Technology Access study. In collaboration with
the ORS director, Clark will coordinate the complex activities of this
project and work closely with researchers at Florida State University
and elsewhere who are doing fieldwork....
Force on Digitization Policy
ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy has created a Task
Force on Digitization Policy. Its charge is to review ALA policies in
relation to digitized content and promote the draft Principles for Digitized
Content that were developed in April 2006....
nears for Advocacy Institute
The deadline for online registration for the Advocacy
Institute at the 2007 Midwinter Meeting in Seattle is this Friday,
January 5. Online registration for both ALA members and nonmembers is
$25, a 50% savings from the on-site registration fee....
review: Adult books
Tóibín, Colm. Mothers and Sons. Jan. 2007.
288p. Scribner, hardcover (978-1-4165-3465-5).
In The Master (2004), Tóibín’s much-applauded
fictional version of the life of American literary icon Henry James,
the Irish fiction writer openly displayed an ability to “get
under the skin” of a recognizable historical figure. His collection
of stories further reveals his dexterity in achieving an understanding
of a variety of individuals, none of whom seem to be based on himself.
The collection’s title indicates the general theme upon which
each story elaborates—each story taking the theme in its own
Online and Downers Grove offer online book talk
An exciting new collaboration between the Downers
Grove (Ill.) Public Library and Booklist Online got underway
in December, aiming to offer the liveliest and most varied library-based
online book discussions in the country. Library staff, general readers,
Booklist editors, and authors can air their thoughts, opinions,
and book tips from wherever they can log on....
Booklist Online for
other reviews and much more....
dining guide to Seattle (PDF file)
Robert M. Mason and Marilyn Gell Mason (right) serve up their recommendations
on eateries in the Emerald City: “While the city is large enough
to have a wide variety of restaurants, the characteristics that make Seattle
eating distinctive are its dedication to the use of fresh ingredients
(especially fresh fish) and liberal use of Asian flavors.”...
American Libraries 38 (Jan.
Exhibitor special event information for the Midwinter Meeting is now available
online. More than 450 exhibitors will pack the convention center’s
exhibit floor and offer free demonstrations and samples of the latest
products and services for libraries and their users....
The Seattle Underground is a network of underground passageways and basements
that was originally the downtown area’s ground level. After the
streets were elevated, these spaces eventually fell into disuse, but have
become a tourist attraction in recent decades. Bill
Speidel’s Underground Tours offers walking tours beginning in
Wikipedia; Bill Speidel’s Underground Tours
online edition of LA&M
LAMA launched a new electronic quarterly journal, Library
Administration and Management Online (LA&M Online)
on December 18. Available as a benefit of membership in LAMA, LA&M
Online includes features not found in the traditional paper journal,
including reader-feedback blogs, color images, additional charts and graphs,
and podcasts. The conversion to a full-featured web publication will be
phased in and completed by 2009....
forums at Midwinter
ALCTS will present a series of forums at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in
Seattle on the future of cataloging, disaster recovery, and collecting
e-resources use data....
for ALCTS 50th anniversary celebration
ALCTS will host a national conference in celebration of its 50th-anniversary
themed “Interactive Futures: A National Conference on the Transformation
of Library Collections and Technical Services.” Registration is
now open for the day-and-a-half conference to be held June 20–21
at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington,
round of great websites added to ALSC list
ALSC added 44 new sites in 2006 to its Great
Web Sites for Kids page. GWS features links to valuable websites of
interest to children, organized by subject headings such as animals, literature
and languages, sciences, the arts, and history and biography....
debuts MySpace web page
YALSA has launched a MySpace page
to provide a way for the division to reach out to the general public including
parents, educators, teens, librarians, and library supporters. YALSA’s
MySpace page offers visitors convenient access to recommended reading,
listening and viewing for teens, including titles that have won one of
YALSA’s prestigious awards in young adult literature....
Child Ready to Read @ your library wiki
PLA and ALSC have introduced an Every
Child Ready to Read @ your library wiki that allows new and current
users of the program to share innovative ideas and best practices. PLA
and ALSC jointly developed the Every Child Ready to Read @ your library
program to provide public libraries with vital tools to help prepare parents
for their critical role as their child’s first teacher....
Leadership Development Seminar
John McNeil, vice president of implementation and design for the Pacific
Institute, will be keynote speaker at the LAMA 2007 Leadership Development
Seminar at the Midwinter Meeting. This seminar will be presented January
19 from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m. at the Westin Seattle, Cascade Ballroom 1....
Round Table special event
Seattle Public Library, VRT, and Friends of Libraries for Deaf Action
will cosponsor a screening of short clips from Through
Deaf Eyes, a two-hour PBS documentary that explores 200 years
of deaf life in America, at 6:30 p.m. on January 20 at the Seattle Public
Library auditorium. This groundbreaking work is a production of WETA Washington,
D.C., and Florentine Films/Hott Productions, in association with Gallaudet
University. A national PBS broadcast is planned in spring 2007. A discussion
with Karen Kenton, WETA Executive Producer for the Through Deaf Eyes
film project, will follow the screening....
awards deadline extended
The deadline has been extended to February 2 for a number of ALA awards
and grants, including the Beta Phi Mu Award, the Melvil Dewey Medal, the
Equality Award, the Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award, the Thomson
Gale Financial Development Award, the Sullivan Award Public Library Administrators
Supporting Services to Children, and the H. W. Wilson Library Staff Development
The National Film Preservation Foundation invites applications for its
Basic Preservation Grants. These cash grants are awarded to nonprofit
and public institutions for laboratory work to preserve culturally and
historically significant film materials. Awards range from $1,000 to $15,000.
The registration deadline is February 9 and the application deadline is
National Film Preservation Foundation
Feds push for internet records
For more than a year, the U.S. Justice Department has been in discussions with internet companies and privacy rights advocates, trying to come up with a plan that would make it easier for investigators to check records of web traffic. The idea is to help law enforcement track down child pornographers. But some see it as another step toward total surveillance of citizens, joining warrantless wiretapping, secret scrutiny of library records, and unfettered access to e-mail as another power that could be abused....
Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Jan. 1
in the Washington area
Like Borders and Barnes and Noble, Fairfax County (Va.) Public Library
is responding aggressively to market preferences, calculating the system’s
return on its investment by each foot of space on the library shelves—and
weeding out some little-used titles. But the library has not been throwing out all its classics, as the newspaper article implied....
Washington Post, Jan. 2; Fairfax County (Va.) Public Library
middle schoolers in Maplewood
Every afternoon at Maplewood (N.J.) Middle School’s final bell,
dozens of students pour across the street to the public library. Some
study quietly.Others fight, urinate on the bathroom floor, scrawl graffiti
on the walls, talk back to librarians, or refuse to leave when asked.
As a result, starting on January 16, the Maplewood Memorial Library will
be closing its
two buildings on weekdays from 2:45 to 5 p.m., until further notice....
New York Times, Jan. 2
archives recaptures history
Dorothy Jenkins Fields (right) made one phone call 32 years ago that changed
the course of her life. Fields was a librarian in then all-white Myrtle
Grove (Fla.) Elementary School and, in preparation for the nation’s
Bicentennial celebration, she wanted to teach the children about black
history. When she phoned a public librarian to request information, Fields
learned all that was available was a folder containing obituaries. That
phone conversation later led Fields to found the Black
Archives, History, and Research Foundation of South Florida in Miami....
Miami Herald, Dec. 31
dies on the vine
The end of 2006 marks the end of the current congressional session in
the House and Senate, closing the door on the Deleting Online Predators
Act. Andy Carvin takes a look at why this legislation, which passed overwhelmingly
in the House this summer, died such a slow death....
PBS Learning Now, Dec. 29
details about Berger and the Archives
Former national security adviser Samuel R. “Sandy” Berger
has admitted taking five slightly different copies of a highly classified
document from the National Archives in 2003. A newly released report by
NARA’s Office of the Inspector General contains fresh details of
the incident, which involved a classified Clinton administration study
called the Millennium Alert After Action Review....
Washington Post, Dec. 22
book could lead to new drug
A few years ago, Eric Buenz came across Ambonese Herbal, a 17th-century
book on herbal medicine. Buenz, then a graduate student at the Mayo Clinic,
and a colleague decided to test a tree extract that the book claimed could
cure diarrhea. In this case, ancient Indonesian folk knowledge probably
would have disappeared if not for the dogged persistence of Georg Everhard
Rumphius (right), a mercenary with the Dutch East India Company, whose
story is recounted in “Searching Historical Herbal Texts for Potential
New Drugs” (PDF
file), in the Dec. 23 British Medical Journal....
Tucson Arizona Daily Star, Dec. 31
libraries: The annex
Even as the internet revolution raises the promise of widespread digital
publishing, librarians are grappling with deciding which books to keep
and figuring out how to efficiently store them—even if no one touches
them in a generation. That dilemma is heightened because room and funding
for traditional open stacks are scarce, and library space increasingly
is being converted to computer labs and study rooms....
Los Angeles Times, Dec.
finds a new investor
In a somewhat surprising announcement, SirsiDynix announced
in late December that it had a “new investment partner,” Vista
Equity. Details were scant but a formal (and only slightly more detailed)
press release (PDF
file) was issued December 27. Vista is a private equity firm with
over $1 billion in capital, primarily in the software and technology sectors.
SirsiDynix, of course, is one of the biggest players in the market, with
nearly 4,000 clients....
Hectic Pace blog, Dec. 28
things to do with Google Maps mashups
Mike Pegg shows how individuals and organizations are using Google Maps
to chart such things as zip codes,
disease outbreaks, ski
resorts, UFO sightings, webcams,
and cheap gas....
Google Maps Mania blog, Dec. 28
predictions for 2007
John Battelle, author of The Search (Portfolio, 2005), has made
14 predictions about developments in search-engine technology next year....
John Battelle’s Searchblog, Jan. 1
every librarian should know about search engines
Scott Hawksworth writes: “Online research and the power of the Web
have made accessing information only fingertips away from all of us, but
the taxonomies and standards used for search will impact how people learn
online and off for years to come. Here are some of the things librarians
understand about search—and things that anyone doing online
research can benefit from.”...
DegreeTutor, Dec. 8
systems in del.icio.us
Margaret E. I. Kipp and D. Grant Campbell of the University of Western
Ontario examine the tagging patterns exhibited by users of del.icio.us
to assess how collaborative tagging supports and enhances traditional
ways of classifying and indexing documents....
Proceedings of the ASIST Annual General Meeting (2006)
acronyms parents (and maybe librarians) should recognize
From POS to WYRN, these chat and IM acronyms could turn up in your e-mail
messages or your 24/7 reference logs....
the Web with RSS
Robert MacMillan summarizes RSS feeds for the uninitiated and explains
why websites need to have them....
Reuters, Dec. 29
Heijdenrijk in The Hague, Netherlands, has started up an English-language
blog devoted entirely to book-related gadgetsbooks about books,
bookholders, bookmarks, keychains, mugs (right), clothes for reading,
tote bags, a British TV series called Black Books, and much more....
libraries in Peru and Kenya
Paul Francescutti, a producer for CTV Southwestern Ontario in Kitchener,
has produced a documentary about remote libraries in Peru and Kenya. Remote
Access: Distant Libraries of the World aired only in Ontario early
in 2006. A DVD is available and previews can be found on the Remote Access
adds 25 movies to National Film Registry
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington December 27 added 25 motion
pictures to the National Film Registry to be preserved for all time, bringing
the total number of films on the registry to 450. The 2006 selections
span the years 1913 to 1996 and encompass films ranging from Hollywood
classics to lesser-known but still vital works. Billington chose this
year’s selections after evaluating nearly 1,000 nominated titles,
among them Blazing Saddles (1974), Groundhog Day (1993),
and Tess of the Storm Country (1914)....
Library of Congress, Dec. 27
Pearl’s Book Lust wiki
Best-selling author and award-winning reviewer Nancy Pearl now has a wiki-format
website for readers interested in books: Book Lust: A Community for People
Who Love Books. Currently she is collecting suggestions for best books
of 2006 and most popular authors, and offering suggestions for book clubs....
Book Lust wiki
sports library programming
Why not create some sort of library program around a fantasy league for
the teens in the library? You can find these leagues through a variety
of sources such as Yahoo, ESPN, CBS, as well as a host of other places.
The librarian would have to establish the league and act as commissioner,
which means he or she would control the league settings and rules....
Alternative Teen Services blog, Dec. 28
Pentagon library center opens
The Pentagon has completed a new Library and Conference Center (PLC2)
that is operational and open to visitors. The 120,000-square-foot facility
is home to the Army library, 16 conference rooms, and several offices
under the Pentagon Force Protection Agency....
The Renovator, Dec.
guidelines for library blogs
Karen Schneider offers some tips on what to put in library blog policies
concerning purpose, managers, hosting, assignments, acceptable use, and
best practices, among other things....
Free Range Librarian blog, Dec. 30
Python’s gorilla librarian skit
From Series 1, Episode 10 (December 21, 1969), of Monty Python’s
Flying Circus, in which a gorilla applies for a librarian position.
It contains the classic line: “You see, I don’t believe that
libraries should be drab places where people sit in silence, and that’s
been the main reason for our policy of employing wild animals as librarians.”...
top 10, 50, and 100 lists than anyone else
Microsoft’s Rex Sorgatz has compiled all the 2006 lists at his Fimoculous
site, helpfully arranged by category (including a section on books). He
has lists for previous years as well....
New Year” around the world
Infoplease offers a list of ways to say “Happy New Year” in
34 languages. When in ancient Rome, say Felix sit annus novus!...
donation to the ALA is a gift to help strengthen public,
school, academic, and special libraries across the country. Specific
initiatives seeking funding include the Campaign for America’s
Libraries, the Cultural Communities Fund, and the ALA Hurricane Katrina
tell the difference between ALA’s CLENERT and its
UNO? What’s a PARS and a BRASS and a COSWL? Consult this handy
guide to ALA-related
acronyms before you tackle the Midwinter schedule.
Tips to Inspire Innovation
Libraries in the 1930s
I imagine the library having a little bar set up. I picture the
librarian sliding her chair over to the bar.
“‘What’s it today, Mr. Devlin?’
she would ask. ‘The usual?’
“‘Just a glass of Guinness, love, and a
bag of chips.’ I’d push my library card across the bar
with my index finger. ‘Put it on my card, and leave a little
something for yourself.’”
Devlin, in “A Dad’s Mind Wanders around the Local Library,”
Boston Globe, Dec. 28.
Thirty-two librarians from around the world came together in Champaign, Illinois, November 7–10, 2006, to participate in the “Thinking Outside the Borders” international leadership institute, which
focused on meaningful cross-cultural communication about libraries and leadership. Robin Kear describes the experience in the December issue of International Leads.
type of device do you use to read American Libraries Direct?
do YOU do?
here to ANSWER!
December 20 poll:
Does your library currently have an in-house coffee shop or restaurant?
Yes (coffee shop)
No, but contemplating
is an unscientific poll that reflects the opinions of only
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the ALA Librarian
Q. Some of the kids in the afterschool program that meets in our library are asking about “street lit.” What is this and what are some resources for building a small collection?
Street Lit, sometimes called Urban Fiction or Hip Hop Fiction or even Ghetto Fiction, is one of the fastest-growing new literary genres, along with chick lit and graphic novels. See the ALA
Professional Tips wiki for information on this genre and some tips on incorporating it into your library.
ALA Librarian welcomes
University of Oxford, English Faculty: “Print Culture and the Novel, 1850–1900,” Oxford, England. Contact: University of Oxford.
International Conference on Open Repositories, San Antonio, Texas. “Achieving Interoperability in an Open World.” Contact: Open Repositories.
Search Engine Watch Live, Adam’s Mark Hotel, Dallas, Texas. Contact: Incisive Media.
New Zealand Mobile Library Conference, Taupo, New Zealand. Contact: Cathie Richards.
British Cartographic Society Map Curators’ Group, Cambridge, England. “Map Cataloguing for the Terrified: How to Catalogue Cartographic Materials for Libraries and Archives.” Contact: Anne Taylor.
Ontario Library Association, Super Conference, Toronto. Contact: OLA.
Texas Computer Education Association, First Annual Educational Technology Research Symposium, Austin. Contact: Ron Cravey.
Southwest Texas Popular Culture and American Culture Associations, 28th Annual Meeting, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Contact: Sally Sanchez.
ALCTS/PCC Workshop, OCLC CAPCON Services Center, Washington, D.C. “Basic Subject Cataloging Using LCSH.” Contact: Shelly Edwards.
Online Northwest, CH2M Hill Alumni Center, Corvallis, Oregon. Contact: Jamie LeGore.
Transborder Library Forum, Arizona State University Libraries, Tempe, Arizona. “Bridging the Digital Divide: Crossing All Borders.” Contact: FORO 2007.
International Book Fair, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria,
Egypt. Contact: Mona Helmy.
Alaska Library Association, Annual Conference, Juneau. “Libraries: The Umbrella of the Community.” Contact: Amelia Jenkins.
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