The e-newsletter of the American Library Association
Special Post-Annual Conference Issue
| June 29,

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Conference Highlights

American Libraries editor Leonard Kniffel greets Julie Andrews before her talk. Photo by Curtis ComptonJulie Andrews waves to the audience after concluding her Auditorium Speaker Series presentation Monday. Photo by Curtis ComptonCoauthors Julie Andrews and her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, read their book The Great American Mousical to children at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. Photo by Curtis Compton

Julie Andrews celebrates American Libraries’ centennial
Entertainer and children’s author Julie Andrews reminded conference attendees on Monday of the magical wonder of musical theatre and books. After a montage of film clips spanning her half-century career, she congratulated American Libraries on 100 years of publication and expressed her appreciation in being chosen as chair for National Library Week 2008....
Cognotes, Tuesday, pp. 1, 12

Sen. Jack Reed describes the SKILLs Act at a press conference on Capitol Hill June 26. Photo by George EberhartRep. Raul Grijalva speaks about the SKILLS Act at a June 26 press conference. Photo by George Eberhart

Bill to improve school libraries introduced
In conjunction with ALA Annual Conference in Washington, on Tuesday U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-R.I., left) and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz., right) introduced the bipartisan Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLs) Act. The legislation reauthorizes and strengthens the Improving Literacy through School Libraries portion of the No Child Left Behind Act and will ensure that more schools have qualified library media specialists and the resources they need to help students find the right information....

Day on the Hill participants visit the office of Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). Photo by Paul SimsRep. Kenny Hulsholf (R-Mo.) and his daughters Casey, 7, and Hanna, 4, sit for their ALA READ poster photo in the Polaris Library Systems booth in the Gold Room. Photo by George EberhartRep. Kenny Hulshof's READ poster, with daughters Casey, 7, and Hanna, 4. Image created by Polaris Library Systems

ALA’s Day on the Hill
At least 1,000 librarians and library supporters from around the country, wearing red “Support Libraries” T-shirts, lobbied members of Congress on the urgent need for funding libraries threatened by closures, shortened hours, staff shortages, and diminished services; the importance of school libraries to the success of No Child Left Behind; and other critical issues. In the Gold Room of the Rayburn House Office Building, some 50 Senators and Representatives posed for READ posters using a setup provided by Polaris Library Systems.

Volunteer Faith Bagdanik, Librarians Build Communities, brushes off one of thousands of books being cleaned and identified in the Children’s Illustrated Collections at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library in Washington D.C. Photo by Curtis ComptonLibraries Build Communities logo on a T-shirt. Photo by Sue Wortman

The Blue Wave hits D.C.: Libraries Build Communities
The Yellow Swarm of New Orleans turned into a Blue Wave this year. Building on the volunteer efforts last summer, 200 attendees rose Friday morning, donned blue T-shirts, and fanned across the city to help libraries, build houses, refurbish parks, and feed the hungry to show that “Libraries Build Communities.”...
Cognotes, Saturday, p. 1

Hollywood Librarian director Ann Seidl on the red carpet at the film's premiere. Photo by Daniel KrausThe Hollywood Librarian world premiere
Andrea Mercado writes: “The world premiere screening of The Hollywood Librarian: A Look at Librarians through Film does an excellent job of using clips from movies like Desk Set, The Music Man, Love Story, Party Girl, and others, to juxtapose the image of librarians in film against the realities of librarianship. The movie obviously moved the audience and instilled a sense of vindication. After the screening, writer and director Ann Seidl (above) explained her interesting distribution method for the film.” Watch the trailer. “I hope this movie busts some myths,” said attendee Nathan Bomer, a 29-year-old librarian from Tulsa. “Our profession is in need of a serious image change.” See also Norman Oder’s Library Journal review....
PLA Blog, June 22; Washington Post, June 24; Dynamic Librarian blog, June 24; LJ, June 23

Loriene Roy at the honor dance. Photo by Daniel KrausHonor dancers at the Friday event. Photo by Daniel KrausHonor Dance celebrates President Loriene Roy
American Indian communities demonstrate support and recognition for individuals with an Honor Dance. One was held Friday at the National Museum of the American Indian for incoming President Loriene Roy. The dance featured a Piscataway opening prayer and blessing, a procession of women dancers, a male drum group, and a circle dance that included members of Roy’s family and members of the audience....
Cognotes, Sunday, p. 11

Sally Willson Weimer, UC-Santa Barbara; Rod Gauvin, Proquest; and Flora Grabowska, Vassar College, enjoy the Scholarship Bash entertainment. Photo by Curtis ComptonThe Capitol Steps perform a Supreme Court sketch. Photo by Curtis Compton

ALA/Proquest CSA Scholarship Bash
Comedian Mark Russell and the comedy group The Capitol Steps provided political humor and musical parodies at the funniest Scholarship Bash ever on Saturday night. The Capitol Steps performed a Supreme Court sketch as part of their routine....
Cognotes, Monday, p. 6

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The audience watches previously unscreened excerpts from upcoming The War, at Ken Burns's talk. Photo by Karen SheetsKen Burns. Photo by Curtis Compton

Ken Burns explores the power of history
Filmmaker Ken Burns opened the Auditorium Speaker Series Saturday morning with a discussion of his latest project, a documentary about World War II, followed by a sneak peek of the film. Burns spoke eloquently about the function of memory and the astonishing paradoxes of war. Terry Ballard writes: “I’m more convinced than ever that this film will be huge. Burns is very articulate when he says that no war is ever ‘good,’ but this war had the effect of bringing the nation together in a way that is unimaginable in these fractured times.”...
Cognotes, Sunday, pp. 1, 20; Librarian on the Edge blog, June 26

ALA Executive Board member Terri Kirk prepares to introduce author Patricia Cornwell as she arrives Saturday morning. Photo by Curtis ComptonPatricia Cornwell delights, inspires audience
Award-winning crime writer Patricia Cornwell engaged a packed audience in a first-class presentation Saturday morning. She said, “My life would be completely different if it hadn’t been for librarians, who introduced me to books and research, long before all of this technology.” Her new novel, Book of the Dead, due out in October, took her two years to complete....
Cognotes, Sunday, pp. 1, 6

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. expounds on the current administration's effects on the environment at the ALA President's Program. Photo by Curtis ComptonKennedy on fighting the subversion of democracy
At Sunday’s President’s Program, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. delivered a fiery indictment of the Bush administration’s environmental record and the lack of a strong critical press resulting in an uninformed public. Kennedy, chief prosecuting attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper, emphasized that we have 230 years of stewardship of democratic ideals to protect against the actions of the “worst administration in history” with regard to the environment....
Cognotes, Monday, p. 1

Bill Bradley. Photo by Curtis ComptonBradley urges collective caring, individual action
ALA President Leslie Burger presided over the Opening General Session Saturday, culminating in a keynote address by former Senator Bill Bradley. Bradley called for changes in America’s economy, public health, education, and its addiction to oil. “The duty of a good citizen,” he said, “is to stay informed. And in America, there’s no better place to stay informed than in a library.”...
Cognotes, Monday, p. 5

Irshad Manji. Photo by Curtis ComptonIrshad Manji praises the power of asking questions
Muslim dissident and feminist writer Irshad Manji shared with her audience on Monday the “power of asking questions,” which started for her in 1972 when her family fled Idi Amin’s Uganda. She asserted that “faith never needs to be threatened by questions, but dogma [which is brittle] is.” David Durant has a full report....
Cognotes, Tuesday, pp. 3, 12; Heretical Librarian blog, June 28

Anthony Romero. Photo by Curtis ComptonFighting for rights and security
Anthony Romero, head of the American Civil Liberties Union since September 2001, on Sunday told of his travels around the country on a mission to protect civil rights. Since 9/11 he has had to deal with the side-effects of government efforts to strengthen national security....
Cognotes, Monday, pp. 8, 18

Nancy Pearl autographs cpoies of her book Book Crush following her Auditorium Speaker Series presentation Sunday. Photo by Curtis ComptonNancy Pearl on Book Crush
Rick Roche writes: “The young librarian in a Mohawk, clicking her knitting needles, laughed at Nancy Pearl’s stories. I laughed, too. I did not do my homework, so I did not realize that Pearl’s new book Book Crush is aimed at children and young adult readers’ advisory until she began speaking. She told us that a teen librarian had recommended the title and concept to her. Because she was looking for a new project and because her More Book Lust had included some recommendations for teens, she decided the idea was good for her to target young readers.”...
Ricklibrarian blog, June 24

ALA President-Elect Jim Rettig shares a laugh with Judy Blume as he prepares to introduce her. Photo by Curtis Compton.Judy Blume on writing
Linda Friel writes: “I attended YA author Judy Blume’s presentation in the ballroom. She has not presented at ALA for a number of years and was thrilled to be there. The bulk of her presentation dealt with how she became a writer and was both informative and moving. Judy thanked all of us for supporting her throughout her career and indicated that she still has many things to write and will continue writing books.”...
MSLA Does DC blog, June 25

Garrison Keillor at the Closing General Session. Photo by Curtis ComptonKeillor praises libraries as temples of democracy
Lauding libraries as the “noblest form of democracy,” Closing General Session speaker Garrison Keillor told a packed auditorium Tuesday, “When politics turns mean and nasty in our country, you can recover your civic happiness by walking into your local library [and] looking at all those heads bent down over those books.” Paul Piper writes: “At times moving, boring, whimsical, enlightening, hysterical, Keillor is a true American legend and a champion of the word, the book as object, and—like Kerouac, Whitman, and others—the true, honest, and generous American landscape.”...
Cognotes, Highlights issue; Piper at the Gates of Dawn blog, June 26

ALA Publishing

AL's birthday cake. Photo by George EberhartAL Youth Matters columnist Jennifer Burek Pierce. Photo by George EberhartAL editors Pam Goodes and Greg Landgraf. Photo by George Eberhart

American Libraries’ 100th-birthday cake
The AL editors and columnists hosted a centenniAL birthday cake (left) at the ALA Pavilion on the exhibit floor on Saturday and Tuesday. Many ALA members stopped by for a bite and picked up “First 100 Years” notepads, stickers, and temporary tattoos. AL “Youth Matters” columnist Jennifer Burek Pierce (center) was on hand to model the new American Libraries T-shirt, and Associate Editor Pam Goodes and CentenniAL Blogger Greg Landgraf (right) greeted passersby.

Still from AL video showing Goldie Hawn on the cover.Still from AL video that says, "If you thought our first century was good...wait till you see what happens next."

AL's been everywhere, man
100 years of American Libraries in just over three minutes: That’s what you will see in this rapid-fire history of ALA’s official magazine. If you missed the video’s premiere at Annual Conference, here’s your chance to stroll—or rush—down memory lane with the AL editors....
AL Focus, June 28

Kaite Mediatore Stover. Photo by George EberhartDavid Wright. Photo by George EberhartHe reads, she reads
Readers’ advisory experts David Wright and Kaite Mediatore Stover went live with their popular Booklist column and discussed the question, “Are there such things as guy reading and girl reading?” The answer was an entertaining “Yes!” Guys like to read about “blowing things up,” Wright said, and Stover added that girls are finally getting into graphic novels.

ALA Editions authorsEditions authors move and shake
An Editions-related gathering at Etrusco Friday night brought together Library Journal Mover and Shaker alums Rob Cullin, Kim Bolan, and Chrystie Hill. Rob and Kim are the authors of Technology Made Simple, and Kim is starting work on a new edition of her popular Teen Spaces. Chrystie is working with Steven Cohen on the final manuscript stage of Inside, Outside, and Online, a book about libraries and community building....
ALA Editions blog, June 23

D.C. from Your Desktop

Minerva, at the Library of Congress. Photo by MaarjaSee the sights virtually
For those who were too busy at Annual Conference and those who could not attend, D.C. residents have pointed out flickr groups that show photos of Washington tourist spots. There are groups for Capitol Hill, the Smithsonian, the Washington Monument, and the Library of Congress....
Photos from D.C. Locals

Division Sessions

Sizing up America’s school libraries
Keith Curry Lance gave an impressive overview of the preliminary findings of the first AASL longitudinal survey, School Libraries Count! In a Saturday session, Lance described the preliminary findings with the modifying reminder that the complete results will be presented in Reno this October at the AASL National Conference....
AASL Blog, June 24

Michael Stephens, David Free, Karen Coombs, David Lee King, and David WardReinventing Reference 3: Michael Stephens
Cindi Trainor writes: “Michael Stephens was the first speaker in RUSA’s Reinventing Reference 3 preconference. It was great to see him speak—he’s very dynamic and engaging. He gave an excellent basic introduction to Web 2.0, how it is affecting libraries everywhere, and why we should be involved.” Jami Haskell has more details on the entire preconference....
Chronicles of Bean blog, June 22; Librarian Like Me blog, June 22

To iPods and beyond
Beth Gallaway writes: “Joseph Wilk, Tanya J. Brown, and Christina Roest did a fantastic job at presenting on MP3 collections. They explained everything, down to defining jargon like widgets and giving step-by-step instructions on how to connect, shop, and download. Joseph covered PC/Mac and iPod/Shuffle differences as well as talked about setting options for purchase, sharing, and storage. His examples were a very diverse mix of music, ranging from American Idol albums to Asian R&B Hip Hop.”...
YALSA blog, June 24

Matt Gullett, John Blyberg, and Jed Moffitt watch Tom Peters's Second Life slides at Wiking the Blog and Walking the Dog. Photo by Rick RocheWiking the dog
Rick Roche writes: “Jed Moffitt of the King County (Wash.) Library System began Monday’s PLA-sponsored ‘Wiking the Blog and Walking the Dog’ with family stories that somehow led to a disclosure that the topic of social software in libraries is not so cutting-edge as it was 18 months ago when the topic was chosen for the conference. The topic has matured a bit. He thought it was still worth discussing. The overflow crowd agreed.”...
PLA blog, June 26

Bringing in the boys
Youth Services Lead Librarian Amy Brown and Children’s Librarian Molly Meyers of Worthington (Ohio) Public Library spoke enthusiastically Saturday to a standing- and floor-sitting-only audience on methods they have used to generate more interest for libraries among young males. The ALSC presentation centered on the use of Multiple Intelligences Theory....
Cognotes, Monday, p. 11

A day in the life of an American teenager
Joseph Wilk writes: “We then started ‘A Day in the Life of an American Teenager—Five Decades with YALSA’ on Monday. Four delightful young teens gave an enthusiastic rundown of YALSA’s history and the history of teen library services over the last few years. It was so entertaining that I couldn’t think to take notes. You had to have been there when they unleashed a massive sword in their performance of Robin McKinley [The Hero and the Crown]. What an awesome job! I got quite verklempt during Stargirl.”...
YALSA blog, June 25

When digital natives go to the library
College and university librarians got some unconventional advice Saturday: Play more video games. George M. Needham, OCLC vice president for member services, stressed that he wasn’t suggesting that college libraries “tear up the stacks to put in arcades,” but that they rethink many assumptions. “The librarian as information priest is as dead as Elvis,” Needham said. The whole gestalt of the academic library has been set up like a church, he said, with various parts of a reading room acting like “the stations of the cross,” all leading up to the “altar of the reference desk,” where “you make supplication and if you are found worthy, you will be helped.”...
Inside Higher Ed, June 25

Hosting video game tournaments
Kelly Czarnecki writes: “Ann Arbor’s Erin Helmrich and Eli Nieburger’s YALSA presentation on Sunday is here (large PDF file), which doesn’t capture all the great commentary, but is definitely helpful! What most interested me was they both said they don’t use gaming as a ‘bait and switch’ to get people in the door in the hopes that they check out a book. Not surprisingly, patrons find the services in an organic way and on their own without having to do it for them.”...
YALSA Blog, June 27

The Google Five libraries
Rick Roche writes: “Is there no downside to being a library partner in the Google Library Project? Only until pressed by members of the audience, the five-member panel convened by LITA admitted it was a lot of work and the lawsuits were annoying. The panelists all seemed almost unconcerned that they really do not know what the ramifications of the project are.”...
PLA Blog, June 23

Andrew Pace, Joseph Janes, Karen Schneider, and Stephen Abram at theUltimate Debate. Photo by Chad HaefeleDo libraries innovate?
Chad Haefele writes: “Moderated by Andrew Pace, this LITA session was in the format of a Q&A/debate among panelists Stephen Abram, Joseph Janes, and Karen Schneider. One major point that all three agreed on is that the profession should not be so afraid to take risks. If something fails, so what? We tried. Learn from it and apply that knowledge to something else.”...
Hidden Peanuts blog, June 23

E-books 2.0
Stephen Leary writes: “E-book usage is up, but how are they used? That’s the Big Question that emerged from the ALCTS E-books 2.0 forum, which included reps from Island Press, Ebrary, Ingram Digital Group, National University, and the University of Denver. Leslie Lees of Ebrary said the development of e-books is dependent on librarians and their tolerance, as well as trial and error.”...
The Reflective Librarian blog, June 25

A good time at the Capitol City Brewing CompanyNetworking at the LITA Happy Hour
Chill writes: “A great crowd met on Saturday night at the Capitol City Brewing Company for LITA’s Happy Hour. This was the place to be . . . to catch up with colleagues, sample the wide selection of cool ales and a bit of the hot cuisine! Those popular, glowing blue LITA necklaces, handed out by Mary Taylor, LITA Executive Director, identified members in the packed locale.”...
LITA Blog, June 24

Can blogs be trusted?
Marc Meola writes: “At a Saturday program sponsored by ACRL’s Law and Political Science Section, Jason Zengerle of the New Republic raised questions about the objectivity and reliability of political blogs that went beyond the simple and oft-heard objection ‘anyone can write a blog, so they’re not authoritative’.”...
ACRLog, June 27

Communicating with chief academic officers
During Monday’s “The Art of Persuasion: Strategies for Effective Communication with Chief Academic Officers,” organized by ACRL, the provosts and vice presidents for academic affairs on the panel shared a list of their do’s and don’ts when approaching new college officials in their positions: Don’t seek out the president for funding requests without first asking the provost. Do list the main assets of the library. Don’t submit a bill that highlights inflation costs and expect provosts to pay for it, no questions asked....
Inside Higher Ed, June 26

Harnessing the hive
Ken Liss writes: “RUSA’s ‘Harnessing the Hive: Social Networks and Libraries’ was a well-attended Sunday program with three speakers. Matt Bejeune, an assistant professor of library science at Purdue and a doctoral student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, kicked things off. He’s studying the use of wikis in libraries and has looked at 35 examples pulled together from the LIS literature, the Library Success wiki, and a handful of listservs.”...
Tracking Changes/Changing Tracks blog, June 27

AASL Affiliate Assembly celebrates 30 years
AASL celebrated the 30th anniversary of its Affiliate Assembly during Annual Conference. The Affiliate Assembly, a group of state delegates from school library media organizations nationwide, held its official celebration during its Friday evening meeting. It provides a channel of communication between AASL members and leadership, brings concerns to the AASL Board of Directors, and facilitates discussion on important issues facing school library media specialists nationwide....

Other Events

Membership Forum
Rebecca Blakiston writes: “Went to the ALA Membership Forum, where the topic was ‘Should ALA Take a Stance on the Iraq War and other non-library issues?’ Anyone was able to speak at the ‘pro’ or ‘con’ mic, but nearly everyone that did was an ALA Councilor or someone holding office in ALA already. I noticed this and found it interesting today when I read John Berry’s column in Library Journal and found him questioning the same thing. It would be nice to hear more outside voices that don’t get much of another chance to speak out.”...
Steadfast Librarian blog, June 27

Israel Fishman Book Award winner Alison Bechdel signs her book Fun Home. Photo by Karen G. Schneider36th Annual Stonewall Book Awards
Karen Schneider writes: “One of the best: The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered Round Table book awards brunch, which not only featured a very respectable buffet—the eggs were creamy and hot, the grapefruit juice was tart and cold, and the cheese blintzes were just plain naughty—but won us over with funny, thoughtful speeches by pioneer gay library activist Jim Carmichael and Fun Home author Alison Bechdel (right).”...
Free Range Librarian, June 28

Careers in federal libraries
“Careers in Federal Libraries” was an ALA preconference session presented at the Library of Congress by the Federal and Armed Forces Libraries Round Table. The program was webcast, and the video from the session will be posted on FLICC’s website. The majority of the session featured 11 federal librarians providing an overview of the libraries they work at, with a brief Q&A at the end of each speech. Chris Zammarelli offers a blow by blow. (Read part two of this post here.)...
Libraryola blog, June 23–24

Terri Woods (left) and Kathy LoweStreet Lit
Kathy Lowe writes: “I was intrigued when I saw a session on the program on Street Lit sponsored by Friends of Libraries USA. It turned out to be a panel of three authors—Darren Coleman, T. N. Baker, and none other than Teri Woods herself. My students would be beside themselves if they know I had met Teri. She has an inspiring story for kids who are growing up on the street.”...
MSLA Does DC blog, June 25

International connections
Johan Koren writes: “At a panel program on Sunday about library education in Europe, three library educators from Europe (one from Germany, one from Estonia, and the third from Croatia) presented descriptions of news in their respective countries in the development of a European Union–mandated process toward a common European higher education system, the so-called Bologna process (no, they’re not making sausages—it’s named for the Italian city!). This program was sponsored in part by the Goethe-Institut in New York, a German cultural program.”...
Murray Library Media blog, June 27

Susan Schnuer and Peter May. Photo by George Eberhart50 years celebration for Peter May
At the International Librarians’ reception at the Library of Congress on Monday, International Relations Round Table Chair Susan Schnuer presented Blackwell Publishing Sales Manager Peter May with a pair of honorary bookends on his 50 years of service to the company.

Why join a chapter?
Curtis Rogers writes: “Saturday I attended a really good session for Chapter Leaders (i.e., state association vice presidents and presidents). During the membership portion I thought of some really good reasons why you should join your state association and adapted these to the South Carolina Library Association.”...
Libraries and Life blog, June 23

Keir Graff, at the Reading Stage. Photo by Karen SheetsPoets and authors LIVE! @ your library
New and established authors and poets read from their works at the LIVE! @ your library reading stage in the exhibition hall. Booklist Online Editor Keir Graff (right) read from his new novel, My Fellow Americans, published in October by Severn House.

Learning when there is no time (or money) to learn
Maurice Coleman writes: “Pat Carterette got a room full of staff development specialists and trainers to talk about what you are doing in your training life and to show how your system can learn when there is no time. This was a well-constructed presentation by CLENE about learning, online learning and organizational learning cultures,  patterns, and how to create and foster a culture of learning in a library system including peer training in your system.”...
Chronicles of the (Almost) Bald Technology Trainer, June 23

Cindi Trainor displays 37 pieces of library flairYoung librarians participating
Cindi Trainor writes: “I am a ‘next generation’ librarian, librarian 2.0 (1.5!), ‘young librarian,’ whatever you want to call me, and I recently made the choice to get involved in ALA. Rather than continuing to believe that it’s hard to get involved, I chose to show up and agitate—ask people how to get onto committees, talk to those around me who are already involved in the organization, not be shy about talking to presenters, giving out my card, the whole nine yards.”...
Chronicles of Bean, June 24

Demco's wheel of fortune near the ALA Membership Pavilion. Photo by Maurice ColemanOn the exhibit floor
Maurice Coleman managed to visit the entire vast exhibit hall, talk to numerous vendors, take photos, blog about the experience in two posts, and still go to a few conference programs. He writes: “The best parts about trade areas are two things. First, seeing the booths and what swag the vendors come up with to keep them in your mind. BWI had a rocking parrot and Heery International had a blue 1952 Chevy matchbox pickup. Second, to see how much stuff people can take home with them.”...

Chronicles of the (Almost) Bald Technology Trainer, June 24–25


Alliance Library System Second Life imageSirsiDynix Building Better Communities Awards
On Sunday afternoon the East Peoria (Ill.) Alliance Library System and Second Life Info Island were recognized as one of six $10,000 winners of the SirsiDynix Building Better Communities Award. This award recognizes libraries that are stepping outside of their comfort zone, exhibiting innovation and creativity in how they serve their users through technology....
Alliance Library System news, June 24; SirsiDynix

Still from the winning "Library Code" videoThomson Gale announces top library video
Dozier Middle School and Main Street Libraries in Newport News, Virginia, won $10,000 in Thomson Gale’s “librareo” contest for best “I Love My Library” video with its “Library Code” entry. The 1:59 video depicts two students on their quest to find the information they need to complete a school project. They start with an internet search, but when it yields less than reliable information, they head to the library....
Thomson Gale

The Book Divas from Houston win the Boko Cart Drill Team championship. Photo by Curtis ComptonBook Cart Drill Team champions
The Book Divas drill team from the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District in Houston took the Gold Cart award with their first-place “Reading Is Riveting” act dressed as Rosie the Riveter. Other entrants were the Delaware Diamonds and “Gett Down with your Funky Self” from the Musselman Library at Gettysburg (Pa.) College. The Book Cart Drill Team championship is sponsored by Demco....
Federal Info Pro blog, June 26; Christian Science Monitor, June 27

John Green, a still from his conference videoJohn and Hank Green and the Printz awards
In this 3:14 video, author John Green forces many people at conference to say hello to his brother Hank. He also includes a portion of his acceptance speech for a Printz Honor Book award for his novel An Abundance of Katherines....
YouTube, June 27

Blair TomBlair Tom wins first annual BookPage award
BookPage magazine announced Saturday that Blair Tom, customer service and public relations manager for the Muskingum County Library System in Zanesville, Ohio, is the winner of its first annual Spotlight Award for Public Librarians. Tom was chosen from nearly 2,000 librarians nominated by public library patrons across the country....
Cognotes, Monday, p. 14

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Tech Events

BIGWIG logoJason Griffey at the Mayflower. Photo by Rachel VacekALA’s BIGWIG Unconference
Michelle Boule, Jason Griffey (right), and Karen Coombs came up with a reinvention of the conference session, which made it possible to benefit whether you attended ALA or not. The BIGWIG Social Software Showcase was an online unconference occuring simultaneously with Annual Conference. On its wiki, you will find 11 presentations on cutting-edge technology and social software by librarians and leaders in the field. On Saturday they held a face-to-face roundtable with some of their presenters at the Renaissance Mayflower....
A Wandering Eyre blog; Social Software Showcase wiki

Marshall Breeding. Photo by George EberhartAndrew Pace. Photo by George EberhartVendors open up about open source
Is the open source movement a threat to traditional, proprietary library automation vendors? The answer is an emphatic “no,” according to a panel of seven software developers representing major technology firms Sunday at “Speaking Technically,” moderated by American Libraries columnist Andrew Pace (left) and Marshall Breeding of Smart Libraries.

RDA Update Forum
Karen Coyle reports on the RDA Update Forum held Saturday: “LC’s Beacher Wiggins gave the ‘staying the course’ talk, basically describing RDA as on course and under control. The main four members of the Committee of Principles (Library of Congress, Collections Canada, British Library, and National Library of Australia) are about to officially issue their statements of support for RDA and their intention to begin working on coordinated implementation projects.”...
Digiblog: ALCTS and the Future of Tech Services, June 23

Stephen Abram. Photo by Marie KaddellTen cool technologies
Marie Kaddell writes: “When I saw that Stephen Abram was talking on cool technologies at 8 a.m. Sunday, I groaned and then resolved to head out extra early to the Washington Convention Center to attend. Although I wished I could have found a rationalization for sleeping in, I could not lie to myself. I had to go because when Stephen talks, I always learn something interesting.”...
Federal Info Pro blog, June 24

Transform your library
Jami Haskell wries: “I went to the Saturday afternoon session of the President’s Transformation track with Alan Kirk Gray, John Blyberg, Lori Ayre, Casey Bisson, and Roy Tennant. They talked about how we need to transform our services by using technologies. Some of the points they covered were: We need to transform our spaces—use them in completely different ways. We need to transform the way that we deliver materials. Administration needs to make a commitment to supporting change/innovation in your library; this means giving it staff and money and the means to accomplish the tasks that it needs.” Theresa Cummings has more....
Librarian Like Me blog, June 23; PLA blog, June 25; Lori Bowen Ayre’s blog, June 27; maisonbisson, June 26

The future of information retrieval
Rick Roche writes: “Monday began with an overflow crowd to an obviously inadequate room for the hot-topic Exhibits Round Table presentation, ‘The Future of Information Retrieval.’ Four panelists (Maydee Ojala, Joe Datema, Mike Buschman, and R. David Lankes) discussed the trends that they foresee in professional and amateur research.”...
Ricklibrarian blog, June 26

The names are changin’
Andrew Pace writes: “ProQuest has a new name. It’s Proquest. Nope, you read that right. Took me a second, too, but as you will recall, Cambridge Information Group bought Proquest a little while back. Proquest has more recognition and rolls off the tongue a little easier, I guess. That company controls quite a suite of products now, so I think we can expect some interesting changes in the future.”...
Hectic Pace, June 24

Credo Reference logoXRefer is now Credo Reference
Roy Tennant writes: “Saturday night I went to a reception where XRefer unveiled their new corporate identity as Credo Reference. Meant to imply a solid, dependable, and authoritative presence, this vendor of reference information is seeking to move beyond a rather awkward name into a new level of maturity and corporate branding.”...
Tennant: Digital Libraries, June 24

Seen Online

Royce Lamberth interviewed after the ALA program. Photo by George EberhartJudge criticizes wiretap program
A federal judge who used to authorize wiretaps in terrorist and espionage cases on Saturday criticized President Bush’s decision to order warrantless surveillance after the Sept. 11 attacks. Royce C. Lamberth (right) of federal district court in Washington, said it was proper for executive branch agencies to conduct such surveillances. His presentation at the program, sponsored by the ALA Washington Office, was probably the most revealing discussion to date of actions by the FISA court, which since 1978 has approved wiretaps and other secret surveillance activities involving foreign intelligence and terrorism cases. Visit the ALA Washington Office website for a complete videocast of his talk....
Washington Post, June 26

Do we need libraries anymore?
Marc Fisher writes: “With more than 25,000 librarians pouring into town for the ALA convention, now is the time to ask: Exactly what is the function of a library now? Let’s be real: Most schoolkids are more eager to go to Borders or B&N than to visit local libraries that can seem musty and decrepit. Many adults now do research at home or work that they once did at the library. And budget cuts have left too many libraries with collections that are thin, old, and irrelevant.” Make sure you read the responses....
Washington Post, June 22

Organized librarians at RFD. Photo by Sara Quinn ThompsonLibrarians get organized
Sara Quinn Thompson writes: “Last night, despite many of us saying that we were too old for that sort of thing, Librarians from Facebook gathered at Regional Food and Drink here in D.C. and had a great time. This photo was taken near the beginning of the evening . . . one of the many creative ways librarians use to break the ice with people they don’t know.”...
Librarienne blog, June 24

Conference on a budget
Diane Chen writes: “For those of you who dismiss the concept of attending due to finances, I want to tell you that you can do this conference on a limited budget. I drove this year. Friends with me are providing the gas. Another friend with us took the van on to his friend’s house for free parking (vs. $30 per day). Two other friends (Margaret and Lynn) who have their room provided by the state organization are allowing me to crash in their room.”...
Deep Thinking blog, June 24

If it’s broken...
Lazygal writes: “One overriding theme I hear is that ALA is broken. I’d argue that’s not far off the mark. Here’s an example: the room assignments. Another? The insistence on face-to-face meetings to conduct business. Why ALA isn’t using nings and wikis and blogs better, I have no idea. It’s that whole ‘this works, why change’ attitude that is so frustrating to newer members and (I think) inhibits participation.”...
Killin’ Time Being Lazy blog, June 26

Final reflections
In this YALSA podcast you can listen as Connie Urquhart and Lisa Lindsay, both of the Fresno County (Calif.) Public Library, talk about their conference experiences—what they learned, what they enjoyed, and why Annual Conference is worth attending....
YALSA blog, June 26

Mississippi Fred McDowell, a still from "Goin' down to te River"Mississippi Fred McDowell
A performance of Goin’ Down to the River, sung by Mississippi Fred McDowell for those at conference whose feet were so tired that you just felt like “sittin’ down on the ground” or who “could hardly rest at night” or who got the blues while waiting for delayed or canceled flights. Suggested in a post by blogger Maggie Moran....
YouTube, Apr. 5, 2006; Maggie Reads, June 26; Fort Worth (Tex.) Star-Telegram, June 28

Annual Conference 2007 logo

A grand total of 28,635 registrations made the 2007 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., ALA’s largest ever. The conference, which topped the record set at ALA’s 2005 Annual Conference in Chicago of 27,962 attendees, served as a national forum for discussions on key library issues.

Public Perception
Heard and overheard at Annual

“I far prefer that my children and grandchildren learn the meaning of the word ‘scrotum’ from the library than an internet website.”

—Actress, singer, and author Julie Andrews, in her American Libraries–sponsored talk at ALA Annual Conference, June 25.

“It’s actually about $28, but we had to scale it back to have Jeb Bush in Florida believe it.”

—Stephen Abram, on the statistic that libraries return $6.50 per dollar invested.

“The next time you find yourself saying Wikipedia is crap, fix the entry!”

—Joe Janes, in the “Next Generation Libraries” session.

“God did not create life with two computers.”

—Vartan Gregorian, at the Opening General Session.

“The most important resource in any library goes home at night.”

—Tom Galante, at the “Transforming Your Staff” session.

“Theres a lot of sexy librarian energy in this room.”

—Steve Almond, at the FOLUSA “The Laugh’s on Us” program.

“The 2006 amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 are largely due to librarians, and the changes are for the better.”

—Former FISA Court Judge Royce Lamberth.

Read more of Greg Landgraf’s “Heard and Overheard” on Ning.

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