January 17
, 2007

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

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U.S. & World News

Maplewood stays open, will offer more programming
Trustees of the Maplewood (N.J.) Memorial Library met with Mayor Fred Profeta in an emergency meeting January 14 to reexamine their December decision to close the library weekday afternoons because of disruptive middle-school students—a policy that would have gone into effect two days later. Library Director Jane Kennedy told American Libraries that the “the board voted to rescind its decision about changing library hours” and the township offered some “funding for the library to develop new after-school programs.”...

Sen. Dorgan discusses Net Neutrality billNet neutrality bill reintroduced in Senate
Two senators reintroduced a bill (PDF file) January 9 that would prohibit broadband companies from offering preferential treatment to internet content providers who pay for premium service. Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N. Dak., right) and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) were joined by six other senators, including Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.), in sponsoring the Internet Freedom Preservation Act (S. 215), which is identical to a bill rejected 11–11 last year by the Senate Commerce Committee. Dorgan discusses the bill in a video....

First Lady presents IMLS awards
First Lady Laura Bush presented the 2006 National Awards for Museum and Library Service to three libraries and three museums in a ceremony at the White House January 8. Given by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the $10,000 awards recognize institutions that have demonstrated a long-term commitment to public service through innovative programs and community partnerships....

Library guard shoots at fleeing patron
An on-duty security guard at the Anderson County (S.C.) Library January 6 shot at a woman who set off the library’s alarm as she fled the facility late in the afternoon. James Turner fired the single gunshot as the woman, who had ignored his repeated commands to stop, drove her sedan directly at him, forcing him to jump aside....

ALA News

National Library Agenda draft available for comment
ALA President Leslie Burger has released the discussion draft of “Toward a National Agenda for Libraries”—the result of 12 months of conversation and two days of intensive planning in Washington, D.C., December 10–11—in preparation for the ALA Midwinter Meeting, January 19–24. The working document is available online at the national agenda wiki....

ALA retreat yields phased plan for website improvements
Members and staff who met in a Web planning retreat in mid-December have developed a staged plan for creating the next generation ALA website. Retreat participants reviewed the results of the ALA usability assessment, based on feedback from about 1,200 people who responded to an online survey and participated in the usability study....

Lawyers for Libraries logoLawyers for Libraries institute in Philadelphia
ALA will present a Mid-Atlantic Regional “Lawyers for Libraries” Training Institute, May 17, at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, 1200 Market Street, Philadelphia. The institute is primarily intended to equip attorneys with tools they need to effectively defend the First Amendment in libraries....

Register onsite for Midwinter Advocacy Institute
The Advocacy Institute takes place on January 19 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle. Registration will take place from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. The registration fee is $50 for both ALA members and nonmembers....

Wordplay DVD coverFeatured review: Media
Wordplay. Dec. 2006. 85 min. IFC, DVD.
Solving crossword puzzles is addictive for some, as evidenced in this thoroughly entertaining documentary that focuses on crossword puzzles and the people who create, edit, and solve them. The film begins by introducing puzzle-master Will Shortz, the editor of the New York Times crossword puzzle. We also meet crossword puzzle constructors, including self-proclaimed “puzzle head” Merl Reagle, and we follow top contenders as they prepare for the annual crossword puzzle tournament in Connecticut....

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

Seattle Update

Things to do and know before you go
Temperatures in Seattle during the Midwinter Meeting are forecast to range from lows of 35 to highs of 45. ALA has again contracted with a service that will enable us to text-message conference participants in case of a weather or other general emergency. If you are traveling and encounter any flight delays that may affect your hotel check-in time, please make sure you call your hotel directly and inform them of your delays....

Free wireless access
Wireless access will be provided in most areas of the Washington State Convention and Trade Center other than the exhibit floor during the Midwinter Meeting, January 19–24. To use the in-house wifi, attendees must have a wifi-enabled device....

Teresita Fernandez's glass bridge, Seattle Cloud Cover, laminated glass with photographic design interlayer, is fully integrated in the park's construction.Stunning sculpture park could redefine the waterfront
On January 20, the Seattle Art Museum will open the Olympic Sculpture Park, a sweeping nine-acre green space at the north end of the downtown waterfront. The park has already captured the attention of city planners in New York and Paris for the innovative way it reunites the city and shore. One of the park’s prime features is its magnificent views. It presents a 360-degree panorama of Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains, Mount Rainier, and the surrounding city....
Seattle Times, Jan. 14; Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Sept. 15, 2004; Seattle Art Museum

Special “on-the-plane” reading (PDF file)
Walt Crawford has issued a special “Cites on a Plane” 38-page issue of Cites & Insights for people to read on the flight to Seattle. It consists of selected reprints of articles over the past 18 months, including a fun section on “Library 2.0 for Short Attention Spans.” The PDF will be deleted January 24....
Cites & Insights, the Phantom Edition, Jan. 10–23

Division News

School Libraries Count! survey
AASL is launching a longitudinal survey of school library media programs at the Midwinter Meeting in Seattle. The School Libraries Count! survey will open on January 18 and gather data on changes in the field to gain understanding of the state of school library media programs nationally. The survey’s 20 questions cover the library media center’s hours, staff, staff activities, collection, technology, usage, and expenditures....

AASL’s new learning standards draft
AASL is releasing a second draft of its new learning standards and soliciting member feedback. The draft document (PDF file) is available for download on the AASL website from January 16 to February 1....

Target logoTarget to sponsor Día
ALSC has named Target as the official 2007 national sponsor of El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), known as Día. This annual celebration held April 30 spreads “bookjoy” by linking children of all languages and cultures with books....

Building teen communities online
YALSA will lead a full-day session on “Building Teen Communities Online” in Seattle on January 19. A national panel will explore how and why teens interact online and ways libraries can take advantage of free online tools to enhance teen services. Technologies like social networking sites, chat, IM, blogs, wikis, and podcasts will be featured. A night of gaming will cap the day’s program....


Stonewall Book Awards to be announced
The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Round Table will announce the winners of its 2007 Stonewall Awards for the best gay and lesbian literature during the Midwinter Meeting in Seattle, January 19–24. The announcement will take place January 21 at the GLBTRT Social held at the Seattle Public Library, 6–8 p.m....

Clive Owen and Julianne Moore star in Alfonso Cuaron’s “Children of Men.”Children of Men wins Scripter award
The author and screenwriting team behind Children of Men have won the 19th annual University of Southern California Libraries Scripter Award. The Scripter, awarded annually, honors writers for achievement in adaptation among English-language films released during the previous year and based on a book, novella, or short story. It is the only award that recognizes both the authors and screenwriters of a produced book-to-film adaptation....
Hollywood Reporter, Jan. 13

Seen Online

Higher Education Act may finally see action
Teacher-quality programs could get extra attention—and resources—when Congress finally tackles the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, a piece of unfinished business that the incoming chairs of the House and Senate education committees say will be a priority this year. The reauthorization of the HEA, which was last renewed in 1998, has been languishing on Capitol Hill. Many of the law’s provisions were set to expire in 2003, but Congress has passed numerous extensions....
Education Week, Jan. 10

Public LibrariesAL and PL on the technology beat
Julie Winkelstein writes: “Every month I receive American Libraries, the magazine of the American Library Association, and Public Libraries, from the Public Library Association. Each issue is packed with a range of topics, using columns, feature articles, and shorter pieces to educate and entertain librarians of all kinds. Technology is one of the biggest issues.”...
Contra Costa (Calif.) Times, Jan. 12

Library access can’t be restricted
Riverdale Middle School has no authority to ban students from using neighboring Rosedale Library after the dismissal bell rings, Jefferson Parish Superintendent of Schools Diane Roussel said January 16. Roussel said the ACLU is right in its assertion that the Old Jefferson school’s policy violates the rights of children to move freely and of parents to make decisions regarding their children....
New Orleans Times-Picayune, Jan. 17

Canadian libraries thrive in a digital age
It’s a weekday afternoon and the main floor of the Toronto Reference Library is hopping. Indeed, many Canadian libraries are reporting increased patrons and higher lending figures. While there are no national statistics, the Canadian Urban Libraries Council, which represents public libraries in cities with more than 100,000 people, says circulation increased more than 25% between 1996 and 2005....
Toronto Globe and Mail, Jan. 10

Catalogues from the HSNY archivesWhere there’s a plant, she has an answer
The Horticultural Society of New York’s library, one of hundreds of special libraries in the city, contains nearly 12,000 titles focused on horticulture, or the cultivation of gardens. “We want people to use us,” Librarian Katherine Powis said. “We believe gardens change lives. Elementally, gardens connect us to nature, and that’s a connection that is increasingly lost.”...
New York Times, Jan. 16

The duties of a Caldecott Medal committee member
Megan Smith will have to read 500 children’s books this year. But she doesn’t mind a bit. Smith is one of 15 librarians nationwide chosen to serve on the 2008 Caldecott Award Selection Committee, which awards an annual medal to the artist of the year’s most distinguished American picture book for children....
Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer, Jan. 13

German book thief was literature professor
The mystery thief who pillaged antique books from Bonn University Library and replaced them with worthless copies turned out to be a professor of literature, a German court heard January 17. The 51-year-old academic received a suspended sentence of 18 months’ jail time, which automatically means he loses his current chair at the University of Rostock and all his civil service privileges....
German Press Agency, Jan. 17

French National Library recovers Hebrew manuscript
After negotiations between French officials, Christie’s auction house, and a Brooklyn antiquities dealer, the French National Library has recovered a 13th-century Torah stolen from its special collections in the late 1990s. Library officials said bookseller Yosef Goldman had already purchased and resold the manuscript in good faith when the theft was discovered. Michel Garel, a former curator at the library, was convicted of the theft in March 2006....
Israel National News, Jan. 14

Tech Talk

Best of Technology Writing 2006 coverUniversity of Michigan Library and Press collaboration
Digitalculturebooks is a newly launched joint publishing project between the University of Michigan Press and the Scholarly Publishing Office of the University of Michigan Library. In the coming year it will be publishing titles on the social, cultural, and political impact of new media. As part of its launch, digitalculturebooks is offering a free online version of The Best of Technology Writing 2006, edited by Brendan I. Koerner, and opening nominations for The Best of Technology Writing 2007....

Plus Deck Cassette ConverterAudiocassette digitizer
The Plus Deck Cassette Converter can be installed on any 5¼-inch bay on your Windows-based computer, allowing you to play or record songs into an MP3 format. An auto-reverse feature allows playback or recording of both sides of the tape without ejecting it. The gadget sells for $130, from the Cardiff, Wales–based Firebox company (plus $9.99 shipping)....

ebrary logoEbrary partners with YBP for e-book distribution (PDF file)
Under the terms of a partnering agreement announced January 17, ebrary will integrate its platform and selection of e-books with YBP’s GOBI online databases, giving libraries the ability to select and manage their print and e-book orders in one place....
ebrary, Jan. 17

Senate bill would restrict internet and satellite radio recording
Satellite and internet radio services would be required to restrict listeners’ ability to record and play back individual songs, under new legislation introduced January 11 in the U.S. Senate. The rules are embedded in a copyright bill called the Platform Equality and Remedies for Rights Holders in Music (PERFORM) Act, reintroduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and three other senators. They have pitched the proposal, which first emerged in an earlier version last spring, as a means to level the playing field among “radio-like services” available via cable, satellite, and the internet....
C|Net, Jan. 12

Security Now logoWindows Vista performance and fair use issues
The upcoming release of Microsoft’s new Windows platform, Vista, includes an extensive reworking of core elements in order to provide protection for so-called “premium content,” especially high-definition video, security analyst Peter Gutmann wrote in a December 2006 white paper. In this Security Now audiocast (49:58), Steve Gibson interviews Gutmann on the operational costs of delivering this DRM protection and what it means for the reliability, stability, and openness of future Windows systems....
Security Now, no. 74 (Jan. 12)

Actions & Answers

NCES Household report coverHousehold use of public libraries in 2002 (PDF file)
This National Center for Education Statistics report provides a variety of measures of households’ use of public libraries and notes some interesting comparisons. Almost one-third of households (31%) used a public library, 19% used a school library, 10% used an academic library, and 4% used a work library in the month preceding the survey. A larger proportion of two-parent (69%) and single-mother households (60%) used a public library in the past year than households consisting of single females (34%), single males (28%), or other households without children (42%)....
Households’ Use of Public and Other Types of Libraries: 2002 (NCES 2007-327), Jan.

Building a library website on the pillars of Web 2.0
Karen A. Coombs writes: “Web 2.0 is often defined by the technologies that are part of it: social software, weblogs, linklogs, folksonomies, wikis, podcasts, RSS feeds, and web services. Because of this, some see Web 2.0 as merely hype. However, if you examine the technologies to see what they have in common, a pattern emerges.” This led her to design six pillars of Web 2.0 to use as a foundation for rebuilding the University of Houston library website....
Computers in Libraries 27, no. 1 (Jan.)

Informal survey of 2.0 tools in special libraries
Amanda Etches-Johnson at McMaster University Library conducted a survey (68 respondents) on the use of blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, and IM in special libraries. She includes a sampling of comments about how the tools are used, staff buy-in, and IT and other implementation issues....
Blogwithoutalibrary, Jan. 12

Save the Internet, 2007 stillSave the Internet, 2007
A vivid explanation of network neutrality and how a handful of telecom companies want to “lock down parts of the Web and make sites pay them more money in order to use it,” while everyone else gets the slow lane. This Save the Internet coalition video (3:59) features Bill Moyers, Jon Stewart, and other familiar faces....
Save the Internet coalition

LC releases beta version of new THOMAS site
The THOMAS legislative information system from the Library of Congress has posted a beta version with several new features. New capabilities being tested include searching all THOMAS databases for all congresses with one search; sorting search results by document type (bills, committee reports, etc), relevance, or date; and navigating or refining searches with new options on the search results and document display screens. Be sure to read the helpful About and FAQ pages....
SLA Government Information Division, Jan. 7

Talking about the Maintain IT project
Michelle Boule interviews project leader Barbara Gersh about Maintain IT, a project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that is gathering information and success stories about public access computers in public libraries. Eventually, the project team plans to compile the stories and make them available to libraries as a troubleshooting resource....
ALA TechSource blog, Jan. 10

US Commission on Civil Rights logoCivil Rights digital document collection (PDF file)
The U.S. Government Printing Office has teamed up with the United States Commission on Civil Rights and the Thurgood Marshall Law Library at the University of Maryland School of Law to provide the American public a website of authentic Civil Rights historical publications. The Thurgood Marshall Law Library, a GPO federal depository library, has been scanning hundreds of historical Civil Rights publications to make this digital collection possible. The documents are provided by USCCR....
US Government Printing Office, Jan .12

State Library offers TV listings to sight-impaired Californians
Visually impaired Californians can now independently access their local television listings through one telephone call thanks to an expanded service supported by the California State Library’s Braille and Talking Book Library. The television listings are a new feature of NFB-Newsline. By simply entering their zip code, source of television reception, and time zone, visually impaired customers have quick and easy access to their local television listings....
California State Library, Jan. 9

Ethics books most likely to be missing from philosophy shelves
Eric Schwitzgebel, associate professor of philosophy at the University of California at Riverside, writes: “Ethics books are more likely to be stolen than non-ethics books in philosophy (looking at a large sample of recent ethics and non-ethics books from leading academic libraries). Missing books as a percentage of those off shelf were 8.7% for ethics, 6.9% for non-ethics, for an odds ratio of 1.25 to 1.”...
The Splintered Mind blog, Jan. 8

Acronym Finder adds postal codes
The online Acronym Finder service has added official U.S. Postal Service ZIP codes (over 70,000) and official Canadian postal codes (over 800,000) to its database. A search for a U.S. ZIP code (like 66066) returns information on the city, state, county, telephone area code, and time zone. For Canadian postal codes (like V6H 3H1), it returns the city, province, area code, and time zone. In addition, it shows you a Google Maps snapshot of the postal area....
Acronym Blog, Nov. 14

OLAC cataloger’s judgment
Jay Weitz’s column answers such nagging questions as What is the difference between using the subject headings “Foreign films” and “Foreign language films”? and How should a DVD with different contents on each side be cataloged? It also offers information on uniform title qualifiers for videos and relator codes in name/title added entries....
OLAC (OnLine Audiovisual Catalogers) Newsletter 26, no. 4 (Dec.)

Demonstrators call for gay access to bookmobiles in Austin, Texas.Nation’s gays demand right to library cards (satire)
In another salvo in an ongoing civil-rights battle, the Gay And Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GALAAD) announced the formation of a broad new campaign supporting full library-card privileges for homosexuals. Leaders of the library-cards-for-gays movement, who say some 10 million homosexual citizens are forced to check out books from a loose network of underground libraries each year, liken their plight to American women’s long and historic struggle for borrowing privileges. Women were first issued library cards in 1936....
The Onion, Jan. 15

Blonde in the library still The blonde in the library joke
So, it seems this blonde came into the library and . . . Well, just remember, it’s only a (24-second) video....
FLURL, Jan. 8

Seattle Midwinter logo
Things to do and know before you go

Hilary Swank Read poster

Two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank proudly joins ALA’s Celebrity READ Poster series. In her latest film, Freedom Writers, Hilary plays a teacher who inspires at-risk students to learn tolerance, apply themselves, and pursue their education.

We the People Bookshelf grant logo

Apply for a We the People Bookshelf grant by January 31.

In this issue
January 2007

AL cover

Balancing the
Online Life

20 Tips to Inspire Innovation

American Libraries in the 1930s

AL 100 years logo

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Curator of the Pforzheimer Collection, New York Public Library. Manages all aspects of the Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle, including collection management, budget preparation and implementation, staff supervision, scheduling of activities, and scholarly consultation....

@ More jobs...

Spectrum 10th anniversary

The Spectrum Scholarship Program turns 10 years old this year. Established in 1997, Spectrum is ALA’s national diversity and recruitment effort designed to address the specific issue of under-representation of critically needed ethnic librarians within the profession while serving as a model for ways to bring attention to larger diversity issues in the future.

Public Perception
How the World
Sees Us

“As a native of Texas, I cringe at the thought of any of the soil from my home state being displaced for Bush’s books and papers. I would like to offer an alternative site. Let’s break the ground for the ultimate embedment: the Bush Presidential Library in Baghdad, Iraq.

—Susan Lucrezi, Letter to the Editor, Allentown (Pa.) Morning Call, Jan. 12.

2006 index

The American Libraries Annual Index for 2006 is now complete and available on the AL website as a downloadable PDF.

What do YOU think?

Results of the
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Would you prefer to receive American Libraries Direct twice a week instead of once a week?



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Ask the ALA Librarian

Book reviewer

Q. We are thinking of revising our collection development policy to require locating a review before making a purchase decision. What percentage of books actually get reviewed?

A. According to figures compiled by the R. R. Bowker Company, American book production reached a record-setting level of 190,078 new titles and editions published in 2004. Adult fiction titles and new editions increased nearly 60%. By contrast, Book Review Index for 2004 lists references to 135,500 reviews for just 81,000 titles, or about 42% of the total output. For more information and for sources of reviews, see the ALA Professional Tips wiki....

The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.


Jan. 31–
Feb. 3:

Ontario Library Association Super Conference,
Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Contact: OLA.

Feb. 3:
Book Fest,
a conference on books for children and teens, New York Public Library Humanities and Social Sciences Library. Register by January 19. Contact: Margaret Tice, 212-340-0903.

Feb. 22–24:
Electronic Resources and Libraries 2007 Conference,
Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta. Contact: Bonnie Tijerina.

Feb. 28–
Mar. 2:

Code4Lib Conference, Georgia Center for Continuing Education, Athens.

Feb. 28–
Mar. 4:

Music Library Association / Society for American Music, Joint Conference, Pittsburgh. Contact: Mark McKnight.

Mar. 2–3:
McConnell Youth Literature Conference, Embassy Suites Hotel, Lexington, Kentucky. “In Celebration of Anne McConnell.” Contact: Mary Landrum, 859-257-5797.

Mar. 4–6:
National Conference on Family Literacy, Orlando, Florida. “Achieving the American Dream through Literacy.” Contact: NCFL.

Mar. 5–7:
De Lange Conference VI on Emerging Libraries, Rice University, Houston. Contact: Ellen Butler.

Mar. 7–10: Association of Architecture School Librarians, Annual Meeting, Carnegie Mellon University, Philadelphia. Contact: Martin Aurand.

Mar. 15:
Ohio Library Council,
Columbus. “Castles Against Ignorance: How to Make Libraries Great Educational Environments” workshop, featuring Ed Rossman. Contact: OLC.

Mar. 22–26:
American Society for Information Science and Technology, Information Architecture Summit, Las Vegas. Contact: ASIS&T.

Mar. 26–28: Technology in Education International Conference and Tech Exposition, Ontario (Calif.) Convention Center. “Inspiring the Vision.” Contact: 916-418-5100.

Mar. 26–28:
RFID World, Gaylord Texan Resort, Dallas.

Mar. 26–30:
Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education, International Conference, Crowne Plaza Riverwalk, San Antonio. Contact: AACE.

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