The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | July 18,

U.S. & World News
ALA News
AL Focus
Booklist Online
Division News
Seen Online
Tech Talk
Actions & Answers

SirsiDynix ad

Sponsor: Sirsi Dynix

U.S. & World News

Nixon Presidential Library. Photo by SorchaNixon Library comes under control of National Archives
The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Birthplace in Yorba Linda, California, became part of the National Archives and Records Administration July 11, following decades of conflicts between Nixon’s family and the government over the papers of the 37th president. Now 42 million pages of papers and nearly 4,000 hours of tapes will be moved to the California facility, once a planned 15,000-square-foot addition—still awaiting funding from Congress—is constructed....

Periodicals collection at the Stonewall LibraryFort Lauderdale OKs gay library despite mayor’s discomfort
The Fort Lauderdale, Florida, city commission voted July 10 to permit the gay-oriented Stonewall Library to relocate on city property, despite comments by Mayor Jim Naugle that he was “uncomfortable and shocked” about library material he had seen. Even though library officials explained that visitors must be 18 or older to enter the private library, at the commission meeting Naugle said the library’s holdings—billed as one of the nation’s largest collections of gay and lesbian literature—may include “hard-core” pornographic material....

New Jersey bill would let towns reduce library funding
A bill proposed in the New Jersey Assembly would allow municipalities to reduce the amount of money they are required to give their libraries. The state currently requires municipalities to fund libraries at one-third of a mill of the assessed value of the towns’ properties, which amounts to about $33 on a home assessed at $100,000. The proposal would let library boards reduce that amount if the state formula exceeds the library’s operating budget....

Cover of The Brimstone JournalsNo fire for Brimstone
The Independence (Mo.) Board of Education opted July 10 to keep The Brimstone Journals by Ron Koertge on the shelves without restriction at the William Chrisman High School library over a parent’s challenge. The 2001 young adult novel describes events leading up to a student-planned attack on a high school through a series of the characters’ journal entries....

Philadelphia archives thief sentenced to 15 months
A U.S. District Court judge sentenced a former National Archives and Records Administration intern to 15 months in prison July 12 for stealing 164 historical documents from NARA’s Philadelphia facility and selling half of them on eBay. Denning McTague, who worked as an unpaid intern in the summer of 2006 while obtaining a master’s degree in library science at the State University of New York at Albany, had pleaded guilty to the charge in April....

H.W. Wilson ad
ALA News

Internet education examples needed
On July 20, ALA will be participating in an educational event for members of Congress on the topic of internet safety. Its purpose is to inform Congress on the internet safety education taking place in community organizations like libraries. If your library has an active internet safety program and a web page about that effort, please send the link to Andy Bridges....
District Dispatch blog, July 17

Emerging Leaders logoBe an Emerging Leader
The ALA Emerging Leaders program enables new librarians to get on the fast track to ALA and professional leadership. You can become a candidate for the 2008 Emerging Leaders program by filling out the form by August 15....

AL Focus

Still from the Annual Conference wrap-up videoFive days in 3.5 minutes: Annual Conference wrap-up
Whether you missed the 2007 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., or just want to relive it, here’s your chance to check out exhibits, events, movie premieres, book cart drill teams, anniversary celebrations, and more—as well as catch such luminaries as Julie Andrews, Ken Burns, Judy Blume, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Irshad Manji, Garrison Keillor, and maybe even you, in this 3:30 video....

Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) talks about libraries at Library Day on the Hill (from the video)Library Day on the Hill
ALA played host June 26 to Library Day on the Hill, a chance for librarians to take their concerns directly to their congressional representatives. This 4:55 video covers the introduction of the SKILLs Act, the Cleveland Public Library’s “People’s University on Wheels,” and the Gold Room exhibits, featuring interviews with librarians, vendors, and legislators posing for READ posters....

Susan Patron, from the videoSusan Patron interview
Susan Patron’s book The Higher Power of Lucky became known for two things in the past year: winning the 2007 ALA Newbery Medal, and becoming the center of an uproar when some school librarians removed the book because it contained the word “scrotum.” In this interview, AL’s Beverly Goldberg speaks with Patron about that controversial word, connecting with young readers, and what she’s working on next....

Greg Landgraf, featured in The Greg ShowThe Greg Show #1
Greg Landgraf, American Libraries editorial assistant and first-time conference attendee, offers up a quirky first-person take on the good, the bad, and the absurd highlights from the 2007 ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. In this episode: fancy toilet paper, a missing tour, and escalator escapades....

Cover of Boone: A BiographyFeatured review: Adult books
Morgan, Robert. Boone: A Biography. Oct. 2007. 576p. Algonquin, hardcover (978-1-56512-455-4).
It is, of course, difficult for a biographer to glean the reality from the legends of an iconic figure, particularly if that figure was already surrounded by myth and legend in his own lifetime, as was Daniel Boone. Still, poet and novelist Morgan has made a valiant effort in this absorbing and stirring chronicle of the great frontiersman. He strips away some of the most blatant falsehoods about his subject’s life. Boone did not “discover” Kentucky or the Cumberland Gap, and he was neither an “Indian-lover” nor a particularly eager Indian fighter....

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

Division News

Peep and the Big Wide World event kitPeep and the Big Wide World kit
WGBH in Boston is offering ALSC members a free Peep and the Big Wide World event kit with resources for organizing three different hands-on science events for preschoolers. The kit is available as part of the educational outreach linked to the WGBH-produced, Emmy Award-winning series, Peep and the Big Wide World. To obtain a kit, contact Gay Mohrbacher by September 30....

YALSA offers post-Potter resources for teens
As Harry Potter’s saga ends with the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on July 21, YALSA can help parents, librarians, and educators keep the attention of teens hooked on Harry with read-alikes and resources for planning teen-focused programs. One starting point is the division’s 2008 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults nominations list....

PLA Results Boot Camp logoPLA Results Boot Camp 3
Based on PLA’s popular Results book series, Results Boot Camp is a week-long, intensive management training course that focuses on current library issues and concerns, using case studies describing real library situations. Registration is competitive, and applications will be accepted until October 1. Results Boot Camp 3 will take place in Salt Lake City, Utah, October 29–November 2....


Historian James M. McPhersonPritzker Military Library Award
James M. McPherson has been selected to receive the first Pritzker Military Library Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing. The $100,000 honorarium, sponsored by the Tawani Foundation, will be presented at the library’s black-tie Liberty Gala on October 6 at Chicago’s Drake Hotel. McPherson has published numerous volumes on the Civil War, including Lincoln and the Second American Revolution and Drawn with the Sword....
Pritzker Military Library, July 16

Cover of Brothers, by Da ChenAsian/Pacific American Awards for Literature
The Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association has announced the winners of its 2007 literature awards competition that honors books promoting the culture and heritage of Asian/Pacific Americans. The winner in the adult fiction category is Da Chen’s Brothers (Shaye Areheart Books, 2006), set in post-Mao China....
Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association, June 24

Cover of Defiant GardensExcellence in plant literature
Defiant Gardens: Making Gardens in Wartime (Trinity University Press, 2006), by Kenneth Helphand, and A Tropical Garden Flora: Plants Cultivated in the Hawaiian Islands and Other Tropical Places (Bishop Museum Press, 2005), by George W. Staples and Derral R. Herbst, have won 2007 Annual Literature Awards from the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries. The awards honor both the author and the publisher of works that made a significant contribution to the literature of botany and horticulture....
Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries, June 18

Glen Oaks branch, Queens Borough Public LibraryQueens branch receives design award
The New York City Arts Commission presented an award July 17 to the Glen Oaks branch of the Queens Borough Public Library and its architects Scott Marble and Karen Fairbanks. The Commission gives the awards annually to public projects for excellence in design....
New York Times, July 17

Seen Online

Medical Ethics coverPalm Beach rejects call to remove books from high school
The Palm Beach County (Fla.) School Board refused to pull 80 books referencing homosexuality, atheism, and abortion from the library shelves of two high schools. But Laura Lopez said she will start a church-to-church petition and reach out to a Christian law center to represent her. Among the objectionable books were: Medical Ethics: Moral and Legal Conflicts in Health Care, Coping When a Parent is Gay, and John Irving’s The Cider House Rules....
Palm Beach (Fla.) Post, July 12

Maricopa branch drops call numbers
Maricopa County Library District’s Perry branch in Gilbert, Arizona, has dropped its Dewey Decimal numbers and opted for a shelf arrangement by general subject classification. Library Director Harry Courtright came up with the idea of a Dewey-less library. The plan took root two years ago after annual surveys of the district’s constituency found that most people came to browse, without a specific title in mind....
New York Times, July 14

Loudoun County receives $2.45 million for renovation
The Rust Library in Leesburg, Virginia, a branch of the Loudoun County system, was one of the beneficiaries in an endowment bequest July 6 from the estate of Valeria Harris Symington, who died in 2003. The library will put its $2.45 million toward a 15,000-square-foot addition that will include a new children’s section, larger meeting and conference areas, and a teen space....
Loudoun (Va.) Times-Mirror, July 10

Cesar Chavez Library, Salinas, CaliforniaSalinas libraries extend hours
The three public library branches in Salinas, California, are now open a total of 117 hours each week, thanks to a bolstered schedule that took effect July 17. Due to budget problems, the City Council had voted in September 2004 to close the libraries. But a fundraising campaign called Rally Salinas! raised $800,000 and kept the libraries open on a limited schedule....
Salinas Californian, July 18

Net radio wins partial reprieve as royalties loom
SoundExchange, a group responsible for collecting music broadcasting royalties, confirmed on July 13 that it has proposed new terms for internet radio that could lower fees for some webcasters. While limited in scope, the proposal offers a partial reprieve for smaller sites facing the axe July 15 when a payment scheme approved by the Copyright Royalty Board took effect. Webcasters have said the fees would effectively force many services that personalize individual channels for listeners to close shop....
Wired, July 13

Australian consumer watchdog takes Google to court
Google, the world’s biggest search engine, is being taken to court by the Australian government’s competition watchdog, alleging misleading and deceptive conduct. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission alleges that Trading Post Australia, Google Ireland, Google Australia, and Google Inc. were misleading in the search engine’s “sponsored links” section....
News Limited, July 12

Kentucky libraries falling short on space
Even as communities spend millions of dollars on additions or new buildings, library officials and other experts say the state is falling short on library space. While 37 of Kentucky’s 120 library systems have added facilities in the past five years, the state still needs 500,000 more square feet to reach minimum standards set by the Kentucky Library Association....
Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal, July 12

DC Public Library's West End branchNader leads rally for D.C.’s West End branch
About 75 people led by Ralph Nader’s D.C. Library Renaissance Project rallied outside the West End branch of the District of Columbia Public Library July 14, upset by a recent D.C. Council decision about the future of the popular branch that they said caught them by surprise. On July 10, the council had passed emergency legislation enabling a private firm to replace the library and a fire station in a project that also would include residential and possibly retail space....
Washington Post, July 15

Palo Alto libraries in poor condition
Palo Alto, California, libraries are cramped and in poor condition, according to a report released July 5 by the city auditor’s office. City Auditor Sharon Erickson said the library system could be more efficient by increasing security to prevent thefts, reconfiguring staffing and book delivery schedules, implementing new technology, and reevaluating certain high-risk programs such as laptop computer lending....
Palo Alto (Calif.) Daily News, July 6

Page from the 13th-century Cistercian preacher's manual. Photo by University of South CarolinaSouth Carolina acquires 13th-century Cistercian book
University of South Carolina English Professor Scott Gwara has cleared the way for the Thomas Cooper Library to acquire a 1269 Latin incunabulum written by the Order of Cistercians in Italy. The purchase was funded by a $46,230 grant from the B. H. Breslauer Foundation of New York. Gwara believes the bound preacher’s manual, about 4.5 inches by 6 inches, will provide USC students a window to the spiritual world of 13th-century monks....
The State (Columbia, S.C.), July 14

BIBLIA ad vetustissima exemplaria nunc recens castigata, published in Antwerp in 1559Bibles: A collector’s heaven
Scott Brown writes: “It is one of the great ironies of book collecting that Bibles can be among both the most valuable and least expensive of books. Gutenberg’s 42-line Bible is probably the most valuable printed book, with single leaves selling for $60,000 and up. On the other hand, free copies of English-language translations of the Bible can be found at churches or downloaded from websites.”...

Library architect talks about challenges
Communities that build new libraries weave their way through a difficult but rewarding path, said Jeff Scherer, a nationally award-winning architect with the Minnesota firm of Meyer Scherer and Rockcastle Ltd., who is consulting Norman, Oklahoma, on its hopes and dreams for a new, state-of-the-art library. Many people think it might be hard to make a living as a library architect but “It’s actually the most rewarding thing,” Scherer said in a recent interview....
Norman (Okla.) Transcript, July 16

European Parliament closer to a digital library
European lawmakers have called for the creation of a multilingual European digital library aimed at securing easy access to the continent’s cultural heritage. The European Parliament’s culture committee unanimously adopted a report July 16 that proposes a digital library in the form of a single, direct, and multilingual access point....
EU Observer, July 17

Canadian Museum of Civilization features Haida art and totem polesOttawa’s hidden libraries
Ottawa has a wealth of libraries—outside of the public library system—and chances are most of us have never set foot in them. In fact, you could visit a new library every week for a year with more than 50 libraries attached to federal government bureaucracies from Agriculture Canada to the War Museum. Most offer sophisticated digs, specialized staff, and unique material in their collections....
Ottawa (Ont.) Citizen, July 8

MaintainIT ad
Tech Talk

Second Life avatars don’t shop
Second Life—a three-dimensional online society where publicity is cheap and the demographic is edgy and certainly computer-savvy—should be a marketer’s paradise. But it turns out that plugging products is as problematic in the virtual world as it is anywhere else. Four years after Second Life debuted, some marketers are second-guessing the money and time they’ve put into it....
Los Angeles Times, July 14

DailyLit logoByte-sized e-books
How is it that we have time to deal with hundreds of email messages in a given day but never enough precious moments for a good book? That’s what Albert Wenger and Susan Danziger are trying to address with DailyLit, a new internet site for the literary-minded in a hurry. At DailyLit, you can sign up for emailed installments of several hundred out-of-copyright books....
International Herald Tribune, July 11

Kids say email is, like, sooo dead
The future of email might be found on the pages of and Facebook. Just ask a group of teen internet entrepreneurs, who readily admit that traditional email is more suited for keeping up professional relationships or communicating with adults. It could be that social networks are the most potent new rival to email, one of the internet’s oldest forms of communication. However, Shelly Brisbin at Blogger & Podcaster thinks email can sleep soundly tonight....
C|Net, July 18; Blogger & Podcaster, July 13

WalkJogRun logo13 must-see Google Maps mashups
Adam Ostrow selects his favorite quirky mashups in honor of Google launching its new Mapplets mashup service. Among them are WikiMapia, Flickrvision, HealthMap, WalkJogRun, and Telephone Prefix Locator....
Mashable blog, July 11

Scan a printed page, get a website
A Seattle startup is working on a novel device that could capture a few words from a book or printed article and quickly find the full text on the Web. A person reading a printed newspaper, for example, could instantly get an online version of an article and email it to friends or colleagues. The company, Exbiblio, expects to have a prototype ready in the fall....
Puget Sound Business Journal, July 13

Speed up your PC’s start and shutdown times
If your PC constantly pauses during shutdown because of hung processes, this quick video will show you how to make a few registry changes that shorten Windows timeout for killing frozen apps, and make Windows end them itself (without waiting for you to hit the “End Now” button). Editing your registry, of course, isn’t something to be done lightly....
Lifehacker blog, July 18

Web photos now have zero credibility
Well-meaning researchers from Carnegie Mellon University have destroyed the credibility of all photos on the Web. Alexiei Efros, assistant professor of computer science and robotics, led the team that created two related systems that, together, can manage what used to be painstaking and difficult. Photo Clip Art allows you to add images seamlessly into a photo, and Scene Completion draws upon millions of photos from the Flickr website to fill in holes made by removing unsightly photo elements.... blog, July 11

A behind-the-scenes look at how DRM becomes law
Cory Doctorow looks at the back-room dealing that allowed entertainment companies and electronics companies to craft public policy on digital rights management. He writes: “This technology, usually called ‘Digital Rights Management’ (DRM) proposes to make it hard for your computer to copy some files. Because all computer operations involve copying, this is a daunting task—as security expert Bruce Schneier has said, ‘Making bits harder to copy is like making water that’s less wet.’”...
Information Week, July 11

Actions & Answers

National Institutes of Health logoMandatory NIH policy headed to full House and Senate
The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee has joined its Senate counterpart in directing the National Institutes of Health to ensure that the agency’s funded research is made freely available on the internet. Both the House and Senate appropriators have now backed provisions in their respective 2008 Labor, Health, and Education Appropriations bills that would expand access to NIH research. Listen to an ALA Washington Office podcast featuring Heather Joseph of SPARC....
Alliance for Taxpayer Access, July 13; District Dispatch blog, July 13

Two-page spread from Alden March's The History and Conquest of the Philippines (Philadelphia, 1899), in the Open LibraryThe Internet Archive’s Open Library project
The Open Library website was created earlier this year by the Internet Archive to demonstrate a way that books can be represented online. The vision is to create free, full-text web access to important out-of-copyright book collections from around the world and create an open, public, curated, universal catalog of all books. The website uses a structured wiki architecture that will employ a metadata schema currently in development....
Open Library

Digital scholarship: What’s all the fuss?
Stephen Nichols writes: “While many scholars today use digital technologies and content in their research and writing, and will readily admit their advantages for their own work, most have been slower to admit—or have refused to admit—that such technology and resources are capable of totally transforming the nature and scope of scholarship. The Web and Internet have placed us in the midst of a revolution that has the potential for transforming how we think about, and access, our objects of study.”...
CLIR Issues, no. 58 (July/Aug.)

Cover of Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsHarry Potter: The pre-release rules
Before the magic midnight moment on July 21 when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is unveiled, publisher Scholastic asks libraries with copies of the book to keep them “sealed and in a secure location that is not visible to the public until 12:01 a.m. on July 21.” Also, beware photographers and clever journalists. The company has filed legal papers against numerous websites demanding that content related to the 784-page book be removed....
Scholastic, July 18; MSNBC, July 17

Librarians 2.0: Interviews on the future of librarians
Degree Tutor asked 27 librarians what they thought about the future of libraries, what directions they are going in, and important library technologies. See what Jenna Freedman, Michael Stephens, Loriene Roy, Eric Lease Morgan, Nicole Engard, David Lee King, Steven Bell, Jessamyn West, Meredith Farkas, and others have to say....
Degree Tutor, July 12

Cover of Superman, no. 23, showing the Man of Steel going after a Nazi U-boatComic book cover browser
In 2006, Philipp Lenssen of Stuttgart, Germany, created a website that features the covers for as many comic books that he could find on the Web. Currently, Cover Browser has more than 77,000 images from 538 different series, and more are added contiuously. The site also includes some magazine, games, film DVD, music CD, and book covers. The search engine can look for particular artists (Rick Geary) or image elements (kryptonite)....
Cover Browser

Newly reopened Mid-City branch of the New Orleans Public LibraryNew Orleans works to restore libraries
As New Orleans moves forward in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, community organizations are beginning to clamor for restoration of their branch libraries. The Mid-City branch, the first of several temporary branches funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Gulf Coast Libraries Project, opened to the public on June 11. Two local nonprofit groups are helping New Orleans Public Library to raise money to support its programs and to rebuild—the Friends of the New Orleans Public Library and the New Orleans Public Library Foundation....
New Orleans Times-Picayune, July 12; Mid-City Neighborhood Organization

Grants to Gulf Coast libraries (PDF file)
The Americans for Libraries Council has awarded four “brick and mortar” improvement grants to Gulf Coast libraries with support from the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund as part of a larger package of support to renew communities in the region. The grants will go to the Hancock County (Miss.) Libraries ($600,000), Harrison County (Miss.) Libraries ($600,000), Jefferson Parish (La.) Libraries ($1.2 million), and New Orleans Public Library ($1.6 million)....
Americans for Libraries Council, July 16

Image shown for Grades 3-5 summer activitiesIdeas for summer activities, a joint initiative of the International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English, has assembled a collection of summer activities for students in four different grade levels. The goal is to provide ideas for learning activities outside the classroom....

A daily dose of book reviews
Every day, Critical Compendium provides snippets and links to book reviews in online newspapers, journals, magazines, and webzines. You will also find a sizable list of general links to book review sections in media around the world....
Critical Compendium

Cover of the Magic Hat by Mem FoxThe Magic Hat chosen for Australian Simultaneous Storytime
The Australian Library and Information Association has chosen The Magic Hat by Mem Fox for its National Simultaneous Storytime book. The event, which will involve some 40,000 children at more than 600 locations across the continent on September 6, has been held since 2001 to promote reading and showcase an Australian author....
Australian Library and Information Association

Interlibrary loan trends
The Association of Research Libraries has released a white paper (PDF file) on ILL trends in U.S. academic libraries over the past 20 years written by Anne K. Beaubien, director of Cooperative Access Services at the University of Michigan. Beaubien attributes an increase in loan activity to growing requests for returnable items (books, audiovisual items, microfilms) as opposed to nonreturnables (copies of journal articles, conference papers)....
Association of Research Libraries, July 16

Scribe logo for Vatican Film LibraryMicrofilm of Vatican treasures located in Saint Louis
On July 14, the Vatican Library in Rome closed for a three-year renovation. The closure will make Saint Louis University’s renowned Vatican Film Library even more important for the world’s leading scholars and researchers. Located in the university’s Pius XII Memorial Library, the library holds microfilm copies of approximately 37,000 of the Vatican Library’s 70,000 manuscript codices. Because of this extensive collection, officials from Rome are encouraging scholars to come to St. Louis during the renovation period....
St. Louis University, July 12

Cover of July/Aug Saudi Aramco World, featuring Keyboard CalligraphyKeyboard calligraphy
Arabic script, with its multiple forms and rich variability, is not compatible with movable type, and even in 1829—when the first book was typeset in the Middle East—the central question went unanswered: Could Arabic script retain its unique freedom and character in a mechanical world? Eildert Mulder looks into whether new technology has resolved the conflict....
Saudi Aramco World, July/Aug., pp. 34–39

Public lending rights in Italy
The Italian Library Association registered its concern in June over the government’s creation of a 3-million-euro national fund to compensate copyright holders for books that circulate in public libraries. The fund was legislated in response to pressure by the European Commission to remove Italy’s library exemptions to a 1992 European Economic Community directive on public lending rights....
Associazione Italiana Biblioteche, July 3

Keio University Library. Photo by KentinGoogle Library Project adds Japanese library
Keio University in Tokyo this month became the 26th partner to join the Google Books Library Project, and the initiative’s first library partner in Japan. The combined collections of the Keio University libraries total more than two million printed works, of which some 120,000 in the public domain will be digitized....
Inside Google Book Search, July 10

TechSoup ad

YA poster for Banned Books Week

Celebrate Banned Books Week in October using a pirate theme with this poster featuring young adult books. NEW! from ALA Graphics.

Peer Consultant Directory logo

ASCLA and RUSA members and ALA members affiliated with the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services have volunteered to share their expertise—by consulting by phone, mail, or email—on topics of outreach, literacy, serving underserved populations, or reference services. You can search the Directory of Peer Consultants and Speakers by topic, name, or state. You may also add your name to the directory if you would like to offer any of these services.

In this issue
June/July 2007

Current AL cover

An AL Timeline

ALA Presidents Speak across a Century

Ken Burns Archives America

Librarians of Congress

Conference Preview

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Curator of Poetry, George Edward Woodberry Poetry Room, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Curator has primary responsibility for acquisition, preservation, access, and use of a major collection of contemporary poetry and poetics from the entire English-speaking world, as well as poetic works in other languages translated into English....

@ More jobs...

S. R. Ranganathan

Emily Rimland takes a closer look at “Ranganathan’s Relevant Rules” in the latest issue of Reference and User Services Quarterly.

Batting for Literacy Award graphic

Apply for the Batting for Literacy @ your library Award by September 1 and win a trip for two to Cooperstown, New York, to attend the Baseball Hall of Fame Game in May 2008.


Results of the
July 11 poll:

A New York Times fashion writer suggested in a July 8 article that young people are entering the library profession because it is trendy, hip, and progressive. Do you agree?



Not sure

Have you heard the term “guybrarian” before?



Not sure

(192 responses)

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

Public Perception
How the World
Sees Us

This was why the parking lot was full. People weren’t there to read books—they were there to surf the internet. I felt like Charlton Heston at the end of Planet of the Apes, finding out a hideous, unthinkable truth. I wanted to shout at the top of my lungs, ‘You fools! The books are over here—throw down your mouse and keyboard and join me in an orgy of page-turning bliss!’”

—Andrew J. Schwartzberg, on discovering that more people came to the Chandler (Ariz.) Public Library to use the computers than to find books, in the Phoenix Arizona Republic, July 4.

From the CentenniAL Blog

Cover of the May 2004 American Libraries

The Great Intergenerational Bicker-Off. Greg Landgraf writes: “AL dug up a bit of controversy on the generational issues front in May 2004, with a cover story titled ‘What Will Gen Next Need to Lead?’ (pp. 32–35). In it, authors Arthur Young, Peter Hernon, and Ronald Powell related results of their ‘five-year study of what today’s library directors see as desirable leadership attributes for their successors.’ Several letters took the authors, and the magazine, to task for a variety of pretty well-founded reasons: The fact that none of the authors belonged to Generation X, that the survey hadn’t asked opinions of any Gen-Xers, that its title was intentionally condescending, that the desirable attributes were desirable for leaders regardless of age, and that the whole concept of leadership needed to be rethought anyhow (Aug. 2004, p. 35–36.)”...

See the CentenniAL Blog for more....

AL 100 logo

Summer Reading image

Plan for next year’s summer reading now. The ALSC/BWI Summer Reading Program Grant is designed to encourage reading programs for children in a public library by providing financial assistance of $3,000, while recognizing ALSC members for outstanding program development. The deadline to submit an application is December 3.

Ask the ALA Librarian

Conservator working on damaged materials

Q. Following some heavy rains, a basement storage area flooded and the books there are moldy. Can anything be done?

A. For general tips on how to clean up damage to library materials, please see the resources noted on ALA Library Fact Sheet Number 10, Disaster Response: A Selected Annotated Bibliography. See particularly, “Tips for Salvaging Water Damaged Valuables,” from Heritage Preservation, a network of organizations concerned with preserving our heritage. For library materials affected by mold, discarding the materials may be the best course of action. See Invasion of the Giant Mold Spore, a SOLINET (Southeastern Library Network) Preservation Leaflet, for specific information. If you do decide to keep the books, seek out a conservator to help restore the materials.
See the ALA Professional Tips wiki for further assistance.

The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.


Aug. 2–5:
Sixth National Conference of African American Librarians,
Fort Worth, Texas. “Culture Keepers VI: Preserving the Past, Sustaining the Future.”

Sept. 9–11:
Association of Information and Dissemination Centers,
Fall Meeting, Arlington, Virginia. Contact: ASIDIC.

Oct. 7–12:
Introductory Archives Workshop for Religious Communities,
Malvern, Pennsylvania. Cosponsored by the Catholic Library Association and the Center for the Study of Religious Life.

Oct. 10–12:
Library Research Seminar IV,
Station Park Hotel, London, Ontario. “The Library in Its Socio-Cultural Context: Issues for Research and Practice.” Contact: Melanie North.

Oct. 11–13:
American Printing History Association, Annual Conference, University of California at Los Angeles and the Getty Research Institute. “Transformations: The Persistence of Aldus Manutius.” Contact: Paul W. Romaine.

Oct. 19–24:
American Society for Information Science and Technology,
Annual Meeting, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “Joining Research and Practice: Social Computing and Information Science.” Contact: ASIS.

Oct. 23–27:
Association for Educational Communications and Technology,
International Convention, Hyatt Regency Orange County, Anaheim, California. “Learning within the Kaleidoscope: A Culture of Technology.”

Oct. 24–26:
Michigan Association for Media in Education,
34th Annual Conference, Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, Acme, Michigan. “School Library 2.0: Curriculum Collaboration.” Contact: MAME.

Oct. 26–28:
Association of Mental Health Librarians,
Conference, Nathan Kline Institute, Orangeburg, New York. Contact: Gary McMillan.

Nov. 2–4:
Third Annual International Conference on the Universal Digital Library,
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “Legal, Policy, Technical, Commercial, and Human Factor Challenges to a Globally Owned Universal Digital Library.” Contact: Vivian Lee, 412-268- 7170.

Nov. 13:
RFID in Libraries 2007,
QEII Conference Centre, London. “Putting RFID to Work: Are You Getting Value for Money?” Contact: CILIP.

Nov. 13–14:
First International M-Libraries Conference,
Milton Keynes, U.K. This conference, hosted by the Open University in partnership with Athabasca University, aims to explore and share work carried out in libraries around the world to deliver services and resources to users “on the move” via a growing plethora of mobile and hand-held devices. Contact: Open University.

Dec. 12:
Council on Library and Information Resources,
Sponsors’ Symposium, Cosmos Club, Washington, D.C. “The Architecture of Knowledge: How Research Programs and New Courses Are Built.“ Contact: Jessica Wade.

@ More...

Contact Us
American Libraries Direct

ALA logo

AL Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Wednesday to personal members of the American Library Association.

George M. Eberhart,

Daniel Kraus,
Associate Editor:

Greg Landgraf,
Editorial Assistant:

Karen Sheets,
Graphics and Design:

Taína Benítez,
Production Editor:

Leonard Kniffel,
American Libraries:

To advertise in American Libraries Direct, contact:
Brian Searles,

Send feedback:


AL Direct FAQ:

All links outside the ALA website are provided for informational purposes only. Questions about the content of any external site should be addressed to the administrator of that site.

American Libraries
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
ext. 4216

ISSN 1559-369X.