March 14,

U.S. & World News
ALA News
Booklist Online
D.C. Update
Division News
Round Table News
Seen Online
Tech Talk
Actions & Answers

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Sponsor: Sirsi Dynix

U.S. & World News

Chart from Justice Department auditFBI misuses Patriot Act, FBI audit says
Poorly trained FBI agents underreported the number of times the agency issued National Security Letters to obtain financial and telecommunications records in antiterrorism investigations, neglected to provide proper justification for their use, and failed to put in place record-keeping procedures to ensure civil liberties were protected, according to a Justice Department audit released March 9. ALA President Leslie Burger said in a March 9 release that the “findings confirm many of ALA’s most repeatedly stated concerns about the lack of oversight into the FBI’s surveillance activities”....

Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, 2007Sports Illustrated decides libraries don’t need swimsuit issue
Librarians on Publib and other discussion lists discovered in the first week of March that none of them had received the February 14 “swimsuit issue” of Sports Illustrated. Inquiries to publisher Time Warner eventually resulted in a statement from spokesman Rick McCabe that the company had withheld shipment of that issue to some 21,000 libraries and schools because for years the magazine had received complaints it was too risqué. In a March 9 statement, ALA President Leslie Burger called Time Warner’s decision “patronizing and paternalistic in the extreme.” But libraries will get a second chance—they will receive a postcard this week allowing them to reclaim their copies....

West Virginia fine-tunes library funding scheme
The West Virginia House and Senate were working March 9 to reconcile two versions of a bill that would resolve a public library–funding formula declared unconstitutional in December by the state supreme court....

Committee on the Future of libraries in Hennepin County logoMinneapolis Public Library votes to join county system
The beleaguered Minneapolis Public Library voted 7–1 to merge with the Hennepin County Public Library at an emotional March 7 board meeting. If approved by the state legislature, the Minneapolis system—which has struggled since 2003 with reductions in local funding, staff reductions, and branch closings—will become part of a new system to be called the Hennepin County Library....

Cedar Rapids slashes library budget by 8%
The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, city council passed a budget March 7 that cut $367,000 from the library’s budget—an 8% reduction. Director Lori Barkema said the library would likely address the cut by eliminating Sunday hours, closing the West Side branch, buying fewer materials, or a combination of those measures. “We’re just trying to piece together enough areas” to meet the new budget....

ALA News

Sunshine Week logoLibraries celebrate open government during Sunshine Week
ALA celebrates Sunshine Week, March 12–16, a weeklong recognition of the importance of open government and freedom of information. It culminates in the National Freedom of Information Day Conference March 16 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The event, themed “Access: Oversight & Priorities,” is sponsored by the First Amendment Center in cooperation with ALA....

Advocacy Institute in Kentucky
ALA will present an Advocacy Institute at the joint annual conference of the Kentucky Public Libraries Association and Kentucky Library Trustees Round Table on April 25 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Hilton Cincinnati Airport hotel in Florence, Kentucky....

Second call for comments on accreditation standards
The Committee on Accreditation has issued a second call for comments on its proposed update to the Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies 1992. A comments questionnaire and supporting documents are on the COA website....

Copper Sun boxFeatured review: Media
Draper, Sharon. Copper Sun. Read by Myra Lucretia Taylor. Dec. 2006. 9 hrs. Recorded Books, CD (978-1-4281-2254-3).
Taylor turns in a powerful performance in her reading of this 2007 Coretta Scott King Award winner. At times her pacing is a bit awkward, and she uses some inconsistent pronunciations, but these are minor flaws as she convincingly voices all of the characters, including 15-year-old Amari, whose world is turned upside down when she is forced onto a Middle Passage boat bound for the Carolinas. Her journey through American slavery is vividly told....

Books for Teen Gamers graphicGame for reading
Next time you notice teens playing video games, talking to friends about one, reading gaming magazines, participating on discussion boards, reading fan fiction, or drawing characters, find out more about what games they like. Then suggest titles from this list to partner with their interests. You may find that young adult readers and gamers have a lot to teach you about learning and literacy through play....

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

D.C. Update

How to find meeting rooms
If you want to find out where a room is located at the Washington Convention Center, you can go to its website and click on the button for “Meeting Planners” that lists floor charts. Most, if not all, of the ALA conference hotels should also have information on their websites for meeting planners that lists floor charts for the rooms and ballrooms. The floor charts are an easy way to help you get to the meeting, program, event, or preconference, and assist in estimating travel time....
Talking Reference & (RUSA) blog, Mar. 12

African American Civil War MemorialAfrican American Civil War Museum
In January 1999, the African American Civil War Museum opened to the public. Displaying photographs, documents, period weapons, and uniforms, the museum helps visitors understand the African American soldier’s heroic and largely unknown struggle for freedom. The museum is located at 1200 U Street, two blocks west of the Memorial at 1000 U Street....
African American Civil War Museum

Sea fans at the National Museum of Natural HistoryNational Museum of Natural History
This green-domed Smithsonian museum on the National Mall opened in 1910 to house the nation’s zoological and ethnological collections, among them 30 million insects carefully pinned into tiny boxes, 4½ million plants pressed onto sheets of paper in the Museum’s herbarium, 7 million fish in liquid-filled jars, and 2 million cultural artifacts, including 400,000 photographs housed in the National Anthropological Archives....
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Division News

Po Bronson signs books. Courtesy of the PLA BlogWest Coast warmly receives PLA Symposium
More than 700 public librarians gathered in San José, California, March 1–3, for the PLA 2007 Spring Symposium. The biennual event included six day-and-a-half long workshops featuring PLA’s trademark high-quality continuing education programming, sold-out tours of the city’s public libraries, and an Author Luncheon featuring best-selling author Po Bronson (above). Hear Bronson’s presentation (56:14) on the PLA Blog....

Support Teen Literature Day
YALSA will celebrate the first Teen Literature Day April 19. Librarians across the country are encouraged to participate by hosting events in their libraries. The purpose of the new celebration is to raise awareness among the general public that young adult literature is a vibrant, growing genre with much to offer today’s teens. YALSA has compiled a list of activities, display ideas, and contests....

Five RUSA preconferences at Annual
Register now for one of the five RUSA preconferences on Friday, June 22, in Washington, D.C. Topics include genealogy, interlibrary loan, older adults, reinvented reference, and resource sharing....

ALSC seeks host site for 2008 Arbuthnot Lecture
Applications are now available to institutions interested in hosting the 2008 May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture to be delivered by David Macaulay, Caldecott Medalist and renowned author/illustrator. Each year, an individual of distinction in the field of children’s literature is chosen to write and deliver a lecture that will make a significant contribution to the world of children’s literature....

Webber named LAMA financial chair
Desiree Webber, director of the Mustang (Okla.) Public Library, has been named chair of LAMA’s Financial Advancement Committee....

Round Table News

LSSIRT accomplishments (PDF file)
Find out the recent activities, goals, and personalities behind the Library Support Staff Interests Round Table in its February newsletter....
LSSIRT Newsletter, Feb.


Barbara BibelBarbara Bibel wins RUSA’s Mudge Award
Barbara Bibel, reference librarian at the Oakland (Calif.) Public Library, has received the 2007 Isadore Gilbert Mudge–R. R. Bowker Award presented by RUSA. The award of $5,000 and a citation, donated by R. R. Bowker, recognizes distinguished contributions to reference librarianship....

RUSA STARS-Atlas Mentoring Award
Danielle Cournoyer, library specialist at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, has received the 2007 STARS-Atlas Mentoring Award administered by RUSA’s Sharing and Transforming Access to Resources Section. The $1,000 award is for travel and related expenses to attend the ALA Annual Conference....

Liz KudwaRUSA Award for Service to Minority Business Communities
Liz Kudwa, business reference librarian at the Capital Area District Library in Lansing, Michigan, is the 2007 recipient of RUSA’s Dun & Bradstreet Award for Outstanding Service to Minority Business Communities. Kudwa received the award for her biweekly “Ask the Business Reference Library” column in the New Citizens Press newspaper....

RUSA Public Librarian Support Award
Rachelle Miller, business specialist at the Dayton (Ohio) Metro Library, received RUSA’s Dun & Bradstreet Public Librarian Support Award. The $1,000 travel award is sponsored by Dun & Bradstreet to support attendance at ALA Annual Conference of a business librarian who works in a public library....

Braille Institute Library usersBraille Institute Library gets ASCLA/KLAS/NOD Award
The Braille Institute Library in Los Angeles has received the 2007 ASCLA/KLAS/NOD Award. It was selected for its Telephone Reader Program that began in 2000 and blossomed into an important service for people in the area with visual disabilities....

Kitty PopeLee LoganASCLA Leadership Achievement Award
Lee A. Logan, director of consulting and continuing education for the Alliance Library System in East Peoria, Illinois, and Kitty Pope, ALS executive director, are the 2007 corecipients of the ASCLA Leadership Achievement Award. The award recognizes sustained activity in consulting, multitype library cooperation, and state library development....

Murdock wins ASCLA Campbell Award
Sue O. Murdock, head librarian of the Carnegie Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Pittsburgh, has received the 2007 Francis Joseph Campbell Award. The award is presented to a library or individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of library service for the blind and physically handicapped....

ASCLA Exceptional Service Award
Diana Reese, coordinator of institutional library services for the Colorado State Library, has received ASCLA’s Exceptional Service Award for her work with state correctional institutions....

Thomas J. SanvilleASCLA Professional Achievement Award
Thomas J. Sanville, executive director of OhioLINK in Columbus, has received the 2007 ASCLA Professional Achievement Award. The award is presented to an ASCLA member for professional achievement in consulting, networking, statewide service, and programs....

Faith JonesRUSA ABC-CLIO Online History Award
Faith Jones, head of the literature and language collection at New York Public’s Mid-Manhattan Library, has won the RUSA ABC-CLIO Online History Award. Jones received the award for her work in the creation and completion of the Yizkor Books Project....

RUSA ABC-CLIO online history honorable mentions
RUSA’s History Section has awarded honorable mentions to three online history resources: the Bethlehem Digital History Project, Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project, and the Giza Archives Project....

Bookapalooza to give away books
Applications now are being accepted for ALSC’s new Bookapalooza program, which will offer select libraries a collection of materials to help transform their collections. The application deadline is April 15....

Seen Online

NARA records removed from public view
More than 1 million pages of historical government documents—a stack taller than the U.S. Capitol—have been removed from public view since the September 2001 terror attacks, according to records obtained by the Associated Press. Some of the papers are more than a century old. In some cases, entire file boxes were removed without significant review because the the National Archives and Records Administration did not have time for a more thorough audit....
Associated Press, Mar. 13

Speak Bird, Speak Again coverBook ban turns intra-Palestinian fight into a cultural one
For more than 30 years, anthropologist Sharif Kanaana has been collecting and studying Palestinian folk tales so that people at home and abroad would understand the story of his people. This week, the Hamas-run Palestinian Authority added a new chapter: a directive to pull Kanaana’s book Speak Bird, Speak Again from school libraries and destroy it. The decision underscores the struggle for ideological and political hegemony, one that is making itself felt more strongly than ever before....
Christian Science Monitor, Mar. 9

History, digitized and abridged
As more museums and archives become digital domains, and as electronic resources become the main tool for gathering information, items left behind in nondigital form, scholars and archivists say, are in danger of disappearing from the collective cultural memory, potentially leaving our historical fabric riddled with holes. For every letter from Abraham Lincoln to William Seward that can be found online, millions of documents bearing fine-grained witness to the Civil War will never be digitized....
New York Times, Mar. 10

Massachusetts threatens to cut talking book funds
Visually challenged library users in Massachusetts are vowing to fight tens of thousands of dollars in proposed cuts to talking book programs. Gov. Deval Patrick’s $26.7 billion budget proposes cutting $100,000 from the Braille and talking book library program at the Perkins School for the Blind and $18,000 from the $390,000 talking book program at the Worcester library....
Associated Press, Mar. 12

Merced school librarians could get rehired
At least four library media specialists may get their jobs back with the Merced City (Calif.) School District. But instead of overseeing library tasks for students at one school, they’ll be working with 2,600 students at several campuses. The proposed plan changes the jobs from being site-based to district-based, giving the job of 16 to four library media teachers....
Merced (Calif.) Sun-Star, Mar. 8

Former school librarian wins compensation claim
Embattled former Liberty (N.Y.) High School librarian Angela Page won a major decision March 9 against the district that is trying to fire her. Page said she developed multiple chemical hypersensitivities from exposure to mold at the library due to a leaking roof. The workman’s compensation board concurred in its initial decision handed down last year....
Middletown (N.Y.) Times Herald-Record, Mar. 12

Salinas libraries expand hours
The Salinas (Calif.) Public Library increased its hours by more than 30% March 13. Thanks to funding provided by the passage of Measure V, the library has been able to recruit and train a sufficient number of staff to increase the current 69 hours of service per week—three libraries combined—to 101 hours....
Salinas Californian, Mar. 9

Teens buying books at the fastest rate in decades
Teen book sales are booming—up by a quarter between 1999 and 2005, by one industry analysis—and the quality is soaring as well. Credit a bulging teen population, a surge of global talent, and perhaps a bit of Harry Potter afterglow as the preteen Muggles of yesteryear carry an ingrained reading habit into later adolescence. Older teens in particular are enjoying a surge of sophisticated fare as young adult literature becomes a global phenomenon....
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Mar. 7

Teen disruptions in Tallahassee
Helen Moeller, director of the LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library in Tallahassee, Florida, said students from various local schools have been loud and rowdy, disrupting staff and other patrons as soon as school lets out. Leon County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Capece, the resource officer assigned to the main library, stands at the top of the steps leading to the entrance, dressed in his deputy’s uniform, his hand resting on top of the gun in his holster....
Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat, Mar. 11

Original Doom video game, released in 1993Is that just a game? No, it’s a cultural artifact
When Henry Lowood, curator of the History of Science and Technology Collections at Stanford University, started preserving video games and video-game artifacts in 1998, he thought it was closer to professional oblivion than a bold new move into the future. On March 8 at the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Lowood announced a game canon, an idea closely modeled on the work of the National Film Preservation Board, which every year compiles a list of films to be added to LC’s National Film Registry....
New York Times, Mar. 12

Come for the Xbox, stay for the books
Lauren Mechling writes: “As a young adult author, should I be happy or worried that libraries across America are using video games, music, and movies to capture the attention of teens? As I type this, R&B singer Jaheim’s new album Ghetto Classics is blaring from a speaker overhead. A dozen or so teenage boys are clustered around a honeycomb of computers, chewing the fat while a couple of them watch an Akon music video and the rest surf MySpace.”...
Boston Globe, Mar. 11

Alaskan gamer gets laptop back
Brian Tanner, the web surfer whose computer police seized after chasing him twice from the Palmer (Alaska) Public Library parking lot, has his laptop back. Tanner said Palmer police called March 3 saying he could pick the machine up after police checked it for child pornography....
Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News, Mar. 10

Speck the pig entertains children at Oswego PL. Photo by Judi FurnariSpeck-tacular fun in Oswego
There were squeals of excitement at the Chinese New Year’s party at the Oswego (N.Y.) Public Library February 16 from children as well as the guest of honor—a miniature pot-bellied pig named Speck. Monique Frey, an English teacher at Pulaski High School, brought her pet for the celebration, as 2007 is the Year of the Pig. Judi Furnari, children’s program coordinator at the library, arranged the event....
Oswego (N.Y.) Daily News, Feb. 19

Abandoned books still in old East St. Louis library
For the 7,000 books sitting in a storage unit on State Street in East St. Louis, Illinois, it’s abandonment all over again. The books were among at least 10,000 items including magazines and record albums left in a shuttered city library for more than three years. Many of the items became makeshift beds or fire starters for homeless people, who broke into the library for shelter....
St. Louis Post-Disptach, Mar. 11

Rockford College to auction rare books
Six months after auctioning off about 2,000 pieces of art, Rockford (Ill.) College now has plans to put the school’s rare book collection on the block. Liquidation of the rare books is the latest attempt at reducing the sizable debt that’s plagued the private liberal arts college for decades. The first of two book auctions will be March 16, when 14 rare books will be sold; other titles in the collection will be auctioned in mid to late April....
Rock River Times, Mar. 7

The Wikipedia scandal
Wikipedia’s latest scandal is the revelation that a high-ranking administrator, and employee (until March) of the associated commercial venture Wikia, had falsified his academic credentials. It turns out the contributor nicknamed Essjay was not a tenured professor at a private university but a 24-year-old named Ryan Jordan who holds no advanced degrees....
The Guardian (U.K.), Mar. 8

Tech Talk

Screen shot of SirsiDynix's Unicorn ILSAll SirsiDynix roads lead to Rome
Andrew Pace writes: “SirsiDynix announced March 13 (PDF file) that it would begin developing a ‘holistic platform’ for its automation system, code-named Rome. That means that Horizon 7.3 and Unicorn 3.1 (right) will be the last versions of those products from SirsiDynix. Horizon 8/Corinthian and Unicorn 3.2 will not be released. That said, Rome will be built (not in a day, I venture) upon the architecture of the Unicorn system. The problem, to me, is that all the descriptions of Rome sound a lot like the descriptions of Horizon 8.0.”...
Hectic Pace blog, Mar. 13

Viacom sues Google over YouTube clips
Viacom slapped YouTube and parent company Google with a lawsuit March 13, accusing the wildly popular video-sharing site of “massive intentional copyright infringement” and seeking more than $1 billion in damages. The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, contends that nearly 160,000 unauthorized clips of Viacom’s entertainment programming have been available on YouTube and that these clips have been viewed more than 1.5 billion times. But whether the DMCA’s wording will let Viacom win is a surprisingly open question....
C|, Mar. 13

Example of Flora mosaic from FlickrFlickr debuts Collections
Flickr has launched a way to categorize and organize your photo sets or “collections.” A collection is a container into which you can place either sets or other collections, allowing you to create a hierarchy as deep as five. Collections get a spiffy new “mosaic” icon (like the Flora example here) to represent them....
Flickr blog, Mar. 13

Not so fast, Comcast tells bandwidth hogs
Amanda Lee of Cambridge, Massachusetts, received a call from Comcast in December ordering her to curtail her Web use or lose her high-speed internet connection for a year. Lee, who said she had been using the same broadband connection for years without a problem, was taken aback. But when she asked what the download limit was, she was told there was no limit, that she was just downloading too much....
Boston Globe, Mar. 12

Congress to issue digital TV coupons?
Brushing aside congressional suggestions that the nation is ill-prepared for the conversion to digital TV in 2009, the Department of Commerce March 12 unveiled its plan to help subsidize the switchover from analog. In the National Telecommunications and Information Administration plan, each household can claim two $40 coupons that they then can use toward the purchase of a set-top box that can translate digital signals so television shows can be viewed on analog TVs....
Reuters, Mar. 13

LC Bibliographic Control meeting
Karen Coyle writes: “No one defined the term bibliographic control during the meeting of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control, and in fact it was rarely voiced as a term. By the end of the day, none of us in the audience could have made a clear statement about the day’s topic. The speaker who seemed most on track (and who was the most interesting, IMO) was Timothy Burke, professor of history. Burke talked about how he searches for information, but most importantly he talked about why he searches for information.”...
Coyle’s InFormation blog, Mar. 9

Freebase logoComputer-savvy search database launched
Metaweb, a new company founded by technologist Danny Hillis, is creating a vast public database intended to be read by computers rather than people, paving the way for a more automated internet. On Freebase, information will be structured to make it possible for software programs to discern relationships and meaning. For example, the database could field a query about a child-friendly dentist within 10 miles of one’s home and yield a single result....
New York Times, Mar. 8

Spacecom graphicToward an interplanetary internet
Teams from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency are hammering out a networking standard that will form the backbone of a future interplanetary system of internets. Dubbed InterPlaNet, the standard would enable spacecraft communication and the sharing of information across the solar system. Today, NASA spacecraft carry telecommunications equipment that enable them to correspond with Earth, but these devices lack the ability to link with those on other spacecraft....
American National Standards Institute, Feb. 27

Mashups for health librarians (PDF file)
Allan Cho discusses medical mashups, or hybrid applications that take two information sources and merge them to create a third, more useful tool. He writes, “Although they are part of Web 2.0 and share Web 2.0’s openness, participation, and collaborative aspects, mashups build on a technological base dating back to the earliest days of the Web.”...
Journal of the Canadian Health Libraries Association 28, no. 1 (Winter): 19–22

Actions & Answers

Michael Stephens in OCLC Symposium videoWho’s watching your space?
A video summary (2:53) of the OCLC Symposium at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, January 19, in Seattle. More than 400 people attended this discussion of social networking practices and trends. Participants included moderator Michael Stephens (right) and panelists Howard Rheingold, danah boyd, and Marc Smith....
YouTube, Mar. 9

Government agencies violate online information law
Ten years after Congress enacted the Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments, only one in five federal agencies actually complies with the law, according to a new survey released March 12 by the National Security Archive. Many agency web links are missing or just wrong—one FOIA fax number checked in the survey actually rang in the maternity ward of a military base hospital. The government-wide audit, File Not Found, was conducted with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation....
National Security Archive, Mar. 12

"The Library Changed My Life" article photo showing Stacey DeFelice and her daughter in the libraryHow the library changes lives (PDF file)
Last spring, as part of its ongoing partnership with ALA, Woman’s Day asked its readers to send in stories about how the library affected their lives. The 2,000 heartfelt, funny, and touching essays submitted prove that the library isn’t just the place you go to check out books. Ellen Breslau presents four stories of hope and inspiration....
Woman’s Day, Mar. 6

Alternative careers survey
Rachel Singer Gordon is writing a book on alternative careers for librarians and she wants to hear from anyone who has pursued a nontraditional path—those who have embarked on a new career after working for some time in libraries, those who earned an MLS but never worked in a traditional library setting, those who pursue alternative opportunities as a supplement, those who work in a traditional setting but do nontraditional work, and those who work in nontraditional settings...
Liminal Librarian blog, Mar. 9

Rachel Carson. Courtesy US Fish & Wildlife ServiceRachel Carson Online Book Club
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, along with Friends of the National Conservation Training Center, launched the Rachel Carson Online Book Club in March and continuing through November 2007. The book club will “focus on the life and work of Rachel Carson, including her role as a female leader in science and government. Through the study of her writing, the Book Club will provide an opportunity for dialogue and discussion of current environmental issues in light of Carson’s legacy.”...
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Feb. 26

NCAC report discusses censorship of science
The National Coalition Against Censorship has issued a report that details the censorship of government scientists, suppression and distortion of research, intimidation in federal science agencies, and the serious First Amendment implications of such practices. Political Science (PDF file) comes in the wake of an action by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which on February 26 issued an internal memo to its biologists and other employees instructing them not to publicly discuss climate change, Arctic polar bears, or the status of sea ice unless they are specifically authorized to do so....
National Coalition Against Censorship, Mar. 12; Federal Times, Mar. 13

Field Notes from a Catastrophe coverSanta Barbara reads for Earth Day
Faculty and students at the University of California at Santa Barbara are reading the same book this spring to spread the awareness of global warming. Elizabeth Kolbert’s Field Notes from a Catastrophe (Bloomsbury, 2006) will be the focus of events and discussions leading up to Earth Day, April 22. The Santa Barbara Public Library is also joining in a series of community conversations throughout April....
University of California at Santa Barbara

CUPA-HR survey finds senior academic salaries up
The College and University Professional Association for Human Resources 2006–2007 administrative salary survey shows median base salaries have risen by 4% for senior-level administrative jobs. The median salary for a director of library services was $79,560 over all institutions reporting....
CUPA-HR, Feb. 27

Longfellow stampHenry Wadsworth Longfellow, librarian
The U.S. Postal Service will issue a stamp on March 15 to commemorate the bicentennial of American poet Longfellow’s birth. Longfellow served as librarian of Bowdoin College Library in Brunswick, Maine, from 1829 to 1835 during the same period in which he taught modern languages for the college. It was typical for colleges to tap a faculty member to serve as librarian on a part-time basis....
Library History Buff, Mar. 6

IFLA/OCLC Early Career Development Fellowship Program
Applications are being accepted until March 16 for a fellowship program that provides early career development and continuing education for LIS professionals from countries with developing economies. Up to five individuals will be selected to participate in this five-week program that will take place in Dublin, Ohio, and Leiden in the Netherlands....

Gaudy Night, by Dorothy SayersMurder in the library, part 2
More skullduggery in the stacks of academic and research libraries, as George Eberhart concludes a brief review of detective bibliofiction. In Gaudy Night, unusual happenings at Shrewsbury College, Oxford University, include missing manuscript proofs from the library tended by Miss Burrows, who complains, “The trouble is, that everybody sneers at restrictions and demands freedom, till something annoying happens; then they demand angrily what has become of the discipline.”...
Britannica Blog, Mar. 12

IMLS Conservation Bookshelf initiative
The Institute of Museum and Library Services invites proposals for a cooperative agreement to purchase and distribute a set of conservation-related books, bibliographies, DVDs, and online resources as part of its Connecting to Collections initiative. The cooperator will also mount a promotional campaign about the initiative, with special attention to raising awareness and soliciting requests for the bookshelf from small to medium-sized museums, libraries, and archives....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Mar. 13

Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America coverBizarre titles of 2006
They are not the kind of titles that are likely to top the bestseller charts. But half a dozen bizarre tomes, including a guide to stray shopping carts and a history of a Coventry ice-cream business, may win their 15 minutes of fame as contenders for the Oddest Book Title of the Year. The competition, which has been run by The Bookseller magazine since 1978, invites publishers, booksellers, and librarians to submit their choices of the strange and odd....
The Independent (U.K.), Mar. 9

Annual Conference 2007 logo

Browse for speakers and events in the Preliminary Program online.

Bloggers wanted! If you will be blogging events at ALA Annual Conference, add your site to the list in the Annual Conference wiki.

National Library Week 2007 poster

The new National Library Week 2007 campaign materials illustrate the wealth of opportunities that can be found at the library. Let your patrons know that your library is the place to come together for books, CDs, videos, computer access, and community interaction. From ALA Graphics.

Rayburn House Office Building

Your Day on the Hill. On Tuesday, June 26, the ALA Washington Office has secured the Gold Room of the Rayburn House Office Building for the sole purpose of letting Members of Congress know all about 21st century libraries. Submit an idea for your group’s display by April 12.

In this issue
March 2007

Current AL cover

Mattering in the Blogosphere: Observations from the Well-Connected

Search Fatigue

Midwinter Meeting Report

From the CentenniAL Blog

Cover of the October 1991 issue of American Libraries, which covered the Soviet coup d'etat that took place while IFLA held its conference in Moscow.

“Lucky” is probably not a word most people would use to describe being trapped in Moscow during a violent coup d’état, but the small band of librarians who stayed behind during the IFLA conference in August 1991, while the airports closed and tanks rolled into the city, will never forget what they saw. Sixteen years after the fact, most believe that it was indeed a privilege to have been witnesses to those historic events....

AL 100 logo

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Graduate Assistantships, James E. Brooks Library, Central Washington University, Ellensburg. A program for individuals who already have an MLS or equivalent and who desire a second subject master degree. This unique two-year program allows an individual to study in any of eighteen graduate programs while gaining valuable professional experience in an academic library....

@ More jobs...

C&RL News, March 2007 cover

Science librarians Maud Mundava and Jayati Chaudhuri describe the role of librarians at the University of Tennessee in assisting students to practice fair use, in Understanding Plagiarism,” in the March issue of College & Research Libraries News.

Hartshorn, W.S., photographer. “Edgar Allen Poe” 1848. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

Nevermore! will you have to worry about what to do in Baltimore during the ACRL National Conference, with this handy guide to bookstores and literary sites to explore.

Public Perception
How the World
Sees Us

Libraries have an ambivalent attitude to marginalia. On the one hand, they quite properly object to people defacing their property. . . . On the other hand, libraries cannot suppress a flush of pride on acquiring an ancient text ‘annotated’ by someone famous. Like graffiti, marginalia acquire respectability through age (and, sometimes, wit).”

—British author and columnist Ben Schott, in his essay “Confessions of a Book Abuser,” New York Times, Mar. 4.

Abe Lincoln portrait

The Missoula (Mont.) Public Library is hosting “Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln’s Journey to Emancipation,” a traveling exhibition sponsored by the ALA Public Programs Office from March 8 to April 24. A traveling panel exhibit that reexamines Lincoln’s efforts toward the abolition of slavery during the Civil War, “Forever Free” consists of reproductions of rare historical documents and draws on the latest scholarship in the field.

What do YOU think?

How does your budget forecast for FY 2008 compare to the current fiscal year?

Click here to ANSWER!

Results of the
March 7 poll:

Does your library have a presence in Second Life?



Thinking about it

Don’t know

(70 responses)

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

Ask the ALA Librarian

Library worker graphic

Q. In our public library, circulation is soaring, and frankly, we need more staff. Is there an ALA standard for how many employees are needed?

A. Neither ALA nor the Public Library Association sets prescriptive standards for public libraries, including a number of staff needed per capita. Instead, we advocate an outcomes-based assessment process set forth in a series of books on planning and assessment—the PLA “Results” books. The reason for this is that each library serves a different community with different needs. For example, a library serving a community with many young families wants and needs a library with different facilities and services than a library serving a similar size population with a high percentage of empty-nesters and retirees. Find out more on the ALA Professional Tips wiki.

The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.


Apr. 17–20:
Alabama Library Association,
Annual Convention, Mobile Convention Center. “Growing Our Passion: Alabama Libraries Sow Seeds for the Future.” Contact: Bonnie Lee.

Apr. 18–20:
Oregon Library Association,
Annual Conference, Oregon State University, Corvallis. “Finding Community: Civics, Cyberspace, and Change.” Contact: Lynne Mildenstein, 541-617-7061.

Apr. 18–20:
Tennessee Library Association,
Annual Conference, Chatanooga Convention Center and Marriott Hotel. Contact: TLA.

Apr. 18–21:
Washington Library Association,
Annual Conference, Three Rivers Convention Center, Tri-Cities. “Washington Connects.” Contact: WLA.

Apr. 23–25:
New Jersey Library Association,
Annual Conference, Ocean Place Conference Center, Long Branch. “Protecting Privacy and Freedom in Your Library.” Contact: NJLA, 609-394-8032.

Apr. 25–28:
Montana Library Association,
Annual Conference, Helena. “The Tipping Point: Moving Montana Libraries from Good to Great.” Contact: MLA.

May 2–4:
Maryland Library Association,
Annual Conference, Clarion Resort, Ocean City. “Maryland Libraries: The Wave of the Future.” Contact: MLA, 410-947-5090.

May 2–4:
Massachusetts Library Association,
Annual Conference, Sturbridge. “Branching Out @ MLA.” Contact: MLA, 508-428-5865.

May 2–4:
Asociacion Mexicana de Bibliotecarios,
Jornadas Mexicanas de Biblioteconomía, León. “Las Bibliotecas de Cara a la Sociedad del Conocimiento.”

May 3–5:
LOEX 2007,
Bahia Resort Hotel, San Diego, California. “Uncharted Waters: Tapping the Depths of Our Community to Enhance Learning.” Contact: Tracey Mayfield.

May 8:
Delaware Library Association,
Annual Conference, Sheraton Hotel, Dover. “Current and Future Technologies.” Contact: DLA.

May 15–16:
Vermont Library Association,
Annual Conference, Sheraton Burlington Hotel and Conference Center. “Hands of Vermont.” Contact: Maureen McLoughlin, 802-878-5645.

May 16–18:
Utah Library Association,
Annual Conference, Provo. “Living Libraries: Remembering Our Past, Planning Our Future.”

May 17–18:
New Hampshire Library Association/ New Hampshire Educational Media Association,
Annual Conference, Mount Washington Hotel, Bretton Woods. “Connecting NH Libraries.” Contact: Heather Shumway.

May 17–21:
Phoenix Rising,
New Orleans, Louisiana. A conference devoted to all things Harry Potter. Contact: Phoenix Rising.

May 18–21:
Academic Library Advancement and Development Network,
Annual Conference, Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Banff, Alberta. “Innovate or Perish: Information Services at a Crossroads.” Contact: Josh Bilyk, 780-492-8001.

May 18–23:
Medical Library Association,
Annual Meeting, Philadelphia. “Information Revolution: Change is in the Air.” Contact: MLA.

May 23–27:
Fundación Ciencias de la Documentación,
Bogotá, Colombia. Contact: FCD.

May 24
June 3:
Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts,
Hay-on-Wye, Wales. Contact: Hay Festival.

May 30–
June 3:

North American Serials Interest Group Conference,
Louisville, Kentucky. “Place Your Bet in Kentucky: The Serials Gamble.” Contact: NASIG.

May 31–
June 3:

BookExpo America,
New York City. Contact: BEA.

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