AL Direct celebrates one year
Marking 52 weeks of publication, American Libraries Direct is celebrating with a new look, designed to match American Libraries magazine. Some 49,000 ALA members receive this weekly electronic newsletter that calls attention to new items on the ALA website, as well as practical, informative, and entertaining library-related news and tidbits we find on the Web. Pass it on: Forward AL Direct to colleagues and let them know how easy it is to stay professionally informed. ALA members need only update their email information; nonmembers can join the AL Direct community online through the ALA website.
Congressman takes oath on Jefferson’s Koran
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) became the first Muslim member of Congress January 4 and memorialized the event by taking a ceremonial oath on a Koran once owned by President Thomas Jefferson. Ellison had asked the Library of Congress in December to use the two-volume set that is part of its Jefferson Collection. The library often provides historic bibles, such as the one Lincoln used at his inauguration, for use on ceremonial occasions....
Oprah opens South African school with state-of-the-art library
Celebrities lined up January 2 in the small town of Henley-on-Klip, in the Gauteng province of South Africa, to back Oprah Winfrey as she opened her new $40-million Leadership Academy for Girls. Designed to raise girls from poverty to positions of leadership, the academy is equipped with a state-of-the-art library. Built on a 52-acre campus, the 28-building complex also includes computer and science labs, a theater, and a wellness center....
Maplewood mayor offers more library security
Shortly after trustees of the Maplewood (N.J.) Memorial Library decided to close the building for more than two hours on weekdays because loud teens from a nearby middle school were disrupting service, Mayor Fred Profeta offered to supply security guards to keep order. The library board voted December 20 to shut down the main and Hilton branch libraries from 2:45 to 5:00 p.m., effective January 16, because the students “are not using library resources but are congregating in the building to socialize with friends,” the trustees wrote in a message on the library’s website. “Having as many as fifty young people with nothing to do creates an untenable situation.”...
FBI drops effort to search Jack Anderson archive
The FBI has dropped its effort to recover government papers that had been leaked to Jack Anderson, allowing the late investigative journalist’s family to resume its donation of his archives to the George Washington University library. The bureau had charged that the collection contained classified documents and sought to search the materials; the family said that to comply with the demand would betray Anderson’s principles and intimidate other journalists....
ACLU objects to students needing note to visit library
The ACLU of Louisiana has threatened litigation against the Riverdale Middle School in suburban New Orleans unless the school rescinds a five-year policy barring students from visiting the nearby Rosedale branch of the Jefferson Parish Library System after school without a parental permission note for each day the student visits the library. The policy also forbids students from waiting in the library parking lot for a ride; violations can result in a school suspension....
EPA libraries update
Since the publication of President Leslie Burger’s New York Times op-ed article December 8, staff from the ALA Washington Office have met with representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency on several occasions. The most recent meeting took place January 4, at which the EPA met with staff from ALA, the American Association of Law Libraries, and the Special Libraries Association. The EPA announced that representatives would attend the Washington Office Update Session at the Midwinter Meeting in Seattle....
ALA Washington Office, District Dispatch, Jan. 9
Pilot project on American art resources
The Public Programs Office, in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Humanities, is offering Picturing America, a new grant opportunity for schools and school libraries. The project was created to promote the teaching, study, and understanding of American history and culture in K–12 schools through examples of the nation’s most significant works of art and architecture....
Washington Office in Second Life
ALA has opened a virtual Washington Office in the Second Life virtual
environment. Located in Cybrary City next to several other libraries,
the new office offers information on upcoming activities, an interactive
computer, and a slideshow of pictures of the office and staff. Mark Bard
of the Office of Information Technology Policy uses an avatar named Galen
ALA Washington Office, District Dispatch, Jan. 10
Intellectual freedom blog
The Office for Intellectual Freedom launched a blog January 3 that features alerts, articles, commentary, links, and news in line with its mission to implement ALA policies concerning the concept of intellectual freedom as embodied in the Library Bill of Rights....
Tracie D. Hall to Speak at King Midwinter service
Tracie D. Hall, the recently appointed assistant dean of the Dominican
University Graduate School of Library and Information Science, will be
the keynote speaker at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sunrise celebration
during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle. The celebration will be held
on Monday, January 22, 6:30–7:30 a.m. in Rooms 602-604 of the Washington
State Convention and Trade Center....
Hawaii Student Chapter calendar a hit at HLA conference (PDF file)
If you attended this years Hawaii Library Association Conference
at the Waikiki Marriott Resort November 10–11,
you might have noticed some hubbub
towards the back of the main exhibit
hall. That excitement came from the
premiere of the 2007 Behind the Stacks
Calendar, brainchild of ALA-SC Fundraiser
Margot Hanson (second from left). It features University of Hawaii at Manoa LIS
students as the monthly pinups putting
their own spin on library science in
Hawaii. During the two-day conference
all 90 copies of the calendar sold out....
The Basement Blotter 4, no. 3 (Dec.): 5
Bookmobiles and innovative outreach services
ALA invites its members to participate in the 10th Annual Diversity and Outreach Fair on Saturday, June 23, 3–5 p.m., in the Washington Convention Center during ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. This year the fair will focus on bookmobile and other innovative services to underserved communities....
review: Books for youth
Henkes, Kevin. A Good Day. Mar. 2007.
32p. Greenwillow, hardcover (978-0-06-114018-1). Grades PreS–K.
Playfully contradicting the title, Henke’s latest picture book begins with the words, “It was a bad day.” Each of the next four spreads explains why: “Little yellow bird lost his favorite tail feather. / Little white dog got her leash all tangled up in the fence. / Little orange fox couldn’t find his mother. / And little brown squirrel dropped her nut.” Then the tone shifts....
Booklist announces 2006 Top of the List
Booklist has announced its 17th annual Top of the List winners. The eight winning titles were chosen from the annual Editors’ Choice selections as the best books and media of 2006. The Top of the List picks are featured in the special combined January 1–15 issue of Booklist, which includes the complete annotated Editors’ Choice lists for adult books, adult books for young adults, books for youth, reference sources, and media....
Booklist Online for
other reviews and much more....
How to get around
Keep a copy of the Thomson Gale shuttle bus map (PDF file) on hand, plan your routes with the interactive conference map, or consult these Midwinter wiki tips....
Seattle public art
Seattle’s outdoor art adorns neighborhoods, parks, commercial centers, and public buildings—bravely surviving the region’s capricious climate. The Seattle Outdoor Art website has cataloged more than 390 viewable pieces, displaying a photograph for each, accompanied by the title, artist, date, medium, and location. The Fountain of Wisdom (right) by George Tsutakawa is located at the Seattle Central Library; it was built in 1960 and reset on the library’s reopening day, May 23, 2004....
Seattle Outdoor Art
Seattle’s top attractions
Many attractions are touristy and worth a visit or two—Seattle, like any other city, has a few of those. Rarer are the sites that draw people year after year, even locals, by offering rich experiences that consistently yield insights into a city’s character and history and, in the process, play a part in its future....
Quiet libraries are busy community hubs
Kerri Stark, a doctoral student at Seattle Pacific University, tutors an 8th-grade client in a small study room at the Bellevue Regional Library. One floor up, students Peter Liu and Livvy Hermanto read textbooks for their Bellevue Community College classes while casually talking. It’s business as usual at the library—but it’s a new type of business....
Seattle Times, Jan. 4
Index to the best free reference websites
RUSA’s Machine-Assisted Reference Section has created a Best Free Reference Web Sites Combined Index, 1999–2006, to recognize outstanding online reference sites. The list includes links to online information sources as varied as the Big Cartoon Database, the Encyclopedia of Chicago, and Recalls.gov from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission....
GLBTRT mentoring program (PDF file)
The ALA Membership Committee recently announced
it was developing a formal mentorship
program for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered Round Table. John Bradford interviews Mentorship Coordinator Amanda McKay about how the program will work....
GLBTRT Newsletter 18, no. 4 (Winter), p. 5
First Lady presents top IMLS awards
Laura Bush presented the 2006 National Awards for Museum and Library Service to three libraries and three museums at a ceremony at the White House January 8. The award includes prizes of $10,000 to each recipient and an awards ceremony in the East Room of the White House to help raise public awareness. The library winners were Frankfort (Ind.) Community Public Library, Public Library of Charlotte (N.C.) and Mecklenburg County, and San Antonio (Tex.) Public Library....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Jan. 8
Youth media awards set for Midwinter
The Newbery and Caldecott medals for the best writing and illustration of children’s books published in 2006 will be announced at a press conference on January 22 at 7:45 a.m. Pacific Time. Other award winners to be announced include the Printz Award for literary excellence in books for young adults and the “Dr. Seuss” award for the author and illustrator of an outstanding book for beginning readers. ALA will provide a free live webcast of this national announcement. Unikron, a streaming content provider, will host the webcast at this address....
Coretta Scott King awards to be announced
ALA will announce the winners of the 2007 Coretta Scott King Book Awards during its Youth Media Awards announcement on January 22 at 7:45 a.m. Pacific Time during the Midwinter Meeting in Seattle. The awards serve as a national resource for educators, librarians, and parents who want to provide youth with the best in African American children’s literature....
ALA 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 Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship, the Thomson Gale Financial Development Award, the Sullivan Award Public Library Administrators Supporting Services to Children, and the H. W. Wilson Library Staff Development Grant....
Reutty wins Downs Intellectual Freedom Award
Library director Michele Reutty never realized that following the rules could get her in so much trouble. But when as director of the Hasbrouck Heights (N.J.) Public Library, she found herself following library protocol in response to a request for information from the police, she landed in the midst of a controversy. Her commitment to upholding privacy laws has earned her the 2006 Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award, given by the faculty of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign....
University of Illinois GSLIS, Dec. 14
2007 Native American library basic grant applications
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is accepting applications for the 2007 Native American Library Services Basic Grants. The previously published deadline of March 1 has been moved to March 15....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Jan. 10
Martin Luther King Jr.: Words that changed a nation
CNN showcases some historic documents from the King papers housed at the Robert W. Woodruff Library at the Atlanta University Center. The collection helps explore King’s philosophy and goals, as well as his fears as he and those around him created a revolution....
CNN, Jan. 9
Distance learning in Second Life
Scores of colleges and universities have set up campuses on Second Life islands, where classes meet and students interact in real time. They can hold chat discussions and create multimedia presentations from virtual building blocks called prims. The laws of physics don’t necessarily apply....
New York Times, Education Life supplement, Jan. 7
Boys and books: Sterling Point targets an elusive audience
In August, Sterling Publishing, in collaboration with books packager Flying Point Press, introduced its Sterling Point imprint with eight books, all nonfiction, aimed at a share of the market they say “has been notoriously difficult to reach”—boys between 11 and 15. The first eight Sterling Point titles include Old Blood & Guts, a biography of Gen. George S. Patton by Alden Hatch; The Pirate Patriot, Armstrong Perry’s account of the exploits of John Paul Jones; Lawrence of Arabia by Alistair MacLean; and The Deadly Hunt, the World War II story of the sinking of the Bismarck, by William Shirer....
Associated Press, Jan. 8
The changing role of library science
Librarians still work the reference desks and run story time, but today they may also research a director’s filmography on the Web for a loyal fan, convert microfilmed images of newspapers to digital format, or teach a seminar on the history of fashion. Internet access, search engines, and other new technologies have revolutionized the field....
Wall Street Journal, Jan. 3
Denver raises $15,000 for New Orleans Public Library
As part of the ALA Adopt-a-Library program, the Denver Public Library has raised a total of $15,000 for the New Orleans Public Library. DPL staffers Judith Heck and Laurie Kubitz-Maness (right) served on the Katrina Relief Committee that settled on a plan to donate 25% of the proceeds from Denver’s annual booksale to their Louisiana colleagues. NOPL has decided to use the money for the Children’s Resource Center branch....
Denver Public Library
New Orleans Public Library’s year of recovery
Saturday hours at the main library resumed January 6, the FEMA Disaster Recovery Center and the mayor’s Welcome Home Center have moved out of the building, and the library now offers public access to its first-floor collections and use of the auditorium for programs....
New Orleans Times-Picayune, Jan. 4
Security guard fires at library patron
A library security guard shot at an unidentified woman January 6 as she fled the Anderson County (S.C.) Library. It was not known if the woman was hurt, but a police report said she left the library parking lot in spite of the gunfire. The library is now looking at whether the private firm, Cherokee Security Systems, will continue to be used to provide security at the library and whether guards will carry any kind of lethal weapon....
Anderson (S.C.) Independent-Mail, Jan. 9
Concerned mom learns library’s value of privacy
As a St. Paul, Minnesota, woman was cleaning her 14-year-old son’s room, she found several Manga comic books from a series called DearS. Though Manga is a popular comic book genre, the subject matter is often aimed at young adults. She called the St. Paul Public Libraries Bookmobile, where she figured her son had found the books, and was told she couldn’t get that information....
St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press, Jan. 10
Librarians aid police fraud investigation
Steven M. Weber made headlines in the fall when he was charged in federal court with scamming internet customers as a teenager while living under his parents’ roof. When he signed in at the Brookfield (Wis.) Public Library to use the internet shortly after he was charged, a librarian at the reference desk recalled a newspaper article she’d read, as he sat down at a computer....
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Jan. 7
The basics of search engine optimization
Philipp Lennsen details the three basic principles of getting your site noticed by Google: Create good content, make it accessible, and tell others about your content. In the process, he also gets to the basics of optimal website design....
Google Blogoscoped blog, Jan. 7
Meet you at the bleeding edge
Andrew Pace writes: “Ironically, despite our tradition as early adopters, librarians have been slow to adapt either the technologies they created or those that came from outside our historically insulated world of library automation,” but that change is in the air. “Library technologists are anxious to adapt, reacting nimbly to change rather than trying to always be on the bleeding edge of technological innovation.”...
Technically Speaking column, American Libraries 38, no. 1 (Jan.): 32
Why Johnny can’t search
Joseph Janes discusses the recent findings from the Educational Testing Service that show that many college students lack the “ability to use digital technology, communication tools, and networks appropriately to solve information problems in order to function in an information society.”...
Internet Librarian column, American Libraries 38, no. 1 (Jan.): 38
Yahoo upgrades mobile search tool
Yahoo is aggressively moving into the mobile search market with updated software and expanded deals to preload its software onto millions of handsets. The company announced the latest version of its Yahoo Go 2.0 mobile phones Monday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It also said that the new software would be preloaded onto more than 70 mobile handset models from top manufacturers including Motorola, Nokia, Samsung Electronics and Research In Motion....
C|net news.com, Jan. 8
Sensational new fact power with Univac in 1952
Now, for the first time, a commercial or industrial firm can have—first thing any morning—complete facts and figures, analyzed and summarized, on its previous day’s performance... in production, in sales, in procurement, or any other major or minor activity. The almost unbelievable feats of Remington Rand Univac in computing, sorting, classifying, and reporting business data enable management executives to formulate “fact-powered” decisions in the merest fraction of the time previously required....
Remington Rand ad, Scientific American, Sept. 1952, p. 39
EPA libraries: Background and issues (PDF file)
David M. Bearden and Robert Esworthy of the Congressional Research Service offer some background on the Environmental Protection Agency library closures and its conversion of documents to a digital format, noting:
“Converting the agency’s physical collections to electronic format . . . could
present technical challenges in terms of the quality of digitized items to ensure that the
information is transferred entirely and in a usable format.”...
Congressional Research Service, Jan. 3
A public library for Rwanda
The Rotary Club of Kigali-Virunga, the American Friends of the Kigali Public Library, and Marshall Scholars for the Kigali Public Library are committed to build, staff, equip, and sustain Rwanda’s first public library in the nation’s capital, Kigali. By December 2006, the campaign received donations and pledges of $1.4 million from individuals, businesses and corporations, foundations, governments, and intergovernmental organizations. Another $200,000 is needed for the library to open and operate, and an additional $500,000 beyond that is necessary to ensure its long-term sustainability....
Kigali Public Library
Five Weeks to a Social Library: Participants
The first free, grassroots, completely online course devoted to teaching librarians about social software and how to use it in their libraries, Five Weeks to a Social Library, has announced its list of participants. The course will take place between February 12 and March 17. The 40 participants have already started blogging....
Information Wants to Be Free blog, Jan. 5
Social networking sites and teens: An overview
More than half (55%) of all online American youths ages 12–17 use online social networking sites, according to a new national survey (PDF file) of teenagers conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. For girls, social networking sites are primarily places to reinforce preexisting friendships; for boys, the networks also provide opportunities for flirting and making new friends....
Pew Internet and American Life Project, Jan. 7
Google Maps distance calculator
Want to know the distance between any two points on the globe, say for example, Chicago to Ankara? (As the crow flies, it’s 5,763 miles.) Use this handy Google Maps–based calculator by clicking on two points anywhere; it will figure out the distance for you in both miles and kilometers....
New LC website for cataloging and acquisitions
The Library of Congress Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access Directorate embarked on a website redesign to more effectively present acquisitions and cataloging content. LC staff consulted with users throughout the redesign process and look forward to additional feedback as users become familiar with the new site. The library will continue to involve users as it moves to succeeding phases of this redesign, which will also include the Program for Cooperative Cataloging....
Library of Congress, Jan. 4
PsychEXTRA and gray literature (PDF file)
The very nature of gray literature makes it problematic for both users and library professionals. A short shelf life often makes it difficult to identify, find, catalog,
store, and retrieve. The American Psychological Association’s PsychEXTRA abstracting service addresses these problems with gray literature by acquiring authoritative
content, archiving these materials, and providing online access through a search
PsychINFO 26, no. 1 (Winter 2007)
Librarians as first responders
They don’t pilot boats down hurricane-flooded streets or pull people from second-story windows. Nor do they wear uniforms, carry firearms, or direct emergency vehicles. But library employees have been first responders nevertheless, Ellen Perlman writes, and recognition of this additional community role that libraries play—beyond books and reading rooms—seems to be missing....
Governing magazine, Dec.
Technology mediator: A new role for the reference librarian?
The Arizona Health Sciences Library in Tucson has collaborated with clinical faculty to develop a federated search engine that is useful for meeting real-time clinical information needs. David K. Howse, Paul J. Bracke, and Samuel M. Keim propose a technology mediation role for the reference librarian that was inspired by the project, and describe the collaborative model used for developing technology-mediated services for targeted users....
Biomedical Digital Libraries 3, no. 10 (Oct. 2006)
Curses! ILL'd again!
A villain steals an important document from the library, but librarian Bill Harper saves the day by getting another copy through the Odyssey electronic-delivery software. The Odyssey of Odyssey is a video written, produced, and directed by Allen Reichert at Otterbein College....
ALA’s Chapter Relations Office is partnering with Idearc, whose Media employees are volunteering their time to rebuild, renovate, and/or improve frequently used reading areas in libraries. Idearc Media is dedicated to creating communities of readers where our employees and customers live and work.
Tips to Inspire Innovation
Libraries in the 1930s
Arabic Specialists, Central Intelligence Agency Library, D.C. area. The CIA Library is seeking trained, innovative, customer-service oriented librarians, particularly those with Arabic language skills, to work in acquisitions, cataloging, collection management, electronic resources, and interlibrary loan disciplines....
“My disguises, I should point out, were always rather disappointing, although effective: a wig, a pair of librarian’s glasses, and sensible shoes made me look like a consummate nerd caught in a 1950s time warp.”
Lindsay Moran reflecting upon her past during a visit to the International
Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., New York Times, Dec. 8.
In the January 2007 College & Research Libraries News, Irvin R. Katz says the Educational Testing Service has found that college students fall short in demonstrating ICT literacy. The National ICT Literacy Policy Council is slated to set some national standards.
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Q. How do I get the boy students to come to the library? I wasn’t able to get the boy students to check out anything until I started bringing in my husband’s car magazines? What else can I do?
The subject of boys and reading has been a major one over the past few years. See the ALA
Professional Tips wiki for relevant websites and further reading....
ALA Librarian welcomes
Theatre Library Association Symposium, Kimmel Center for University Life, New York University. “Performance Reclamation: Research, Discovery, and Interpretation.” Contact: Pamela Bloom.
Louisiana Library Association, Annual Conference, Holiday Inn Select, Baton Rouge. “Louisiana Libraries: Bridging Communities.” Contact: Mary Cosper LeBoeuf.
New Mexico Library Association / Mountain Plains Library Association, Joint Conference,
Albuquerque. “Libraries: Launching the Future.” Contact: Louise Hoffmann.
Florida Library Association, Annual Conference, Buena Vista Palace Hotel, Lake Buena Vista. “Libraries Tell Stories.” Contact: FLA.
Kansas Library Association / Kansas Association of School Librarians / Kansas Association for Educational Communications and Technology, Tri-Conference, Capitol Plaza and Kansas ExpoCentre, Topeka. Contact: Helen
Texas Library Association, Annual Conference, San Antonio. “Strong Libraries, Strong Communities.” Contact: TLA.
Connecticut Library Association, Annual Conference, Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford. “Your Library: The Third Place.” Contact: Karen Ronald.
Alabama Library Association, Annual Convention, Mobile Convention Center. “Growing Our Passion: Alabama Libraries Sow Seeds for the Future.” Contact: Bonnie Lee.
Oregon Library Association, Annual Conference, Oregon State University, Corvallis. “Finding Community: Civics, Cyberspace, and Change.” Contact: Lynne Mildenstein.
Tennessee Library Association, Annual Conference, Chatanooga Convention Center and Marriott Hotel. Contact: TLA.
Washington Library Association, Annual Conference, Three Rivers Convention Center, Tri-Cities. “Washington Connects.” Contact: Mike Cook.
New Jersey Library Association, Annual Conference, Ocean Place Conference Center, Long Branch. “Protecting Privacy and Freedom in Your Library.” Contact: Susan Rice.
Montana Library Association, Annual Conference, Red Lion Colonial Inn, Helena. Contact: MLA.
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