March 21,

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

SirsiDynix ad

Sponsor: Sirsi Dynix

U.S. & World News

House passes bills on presidential records and libraries
By lopsided bipartisan majorities, the House passed bills March 14 to reverse an executive order issued by President Bush allowing presidents to withhold their records from the public and to require donors to presidential libraries to identify themselves....

Library funding fix falters in West Virginia
West Virginia lawmakers sent Gov. Joe Manchin a long-awaited compromise bill March 10 addressing public library funding for nine counties. Senate Bill 541 increases local school boards’ discretionary fund from 2% to 6% of their state revenue allocation so that they can continue to support public libraries without touching money earmarked for education. However, the compromise bill also contains a provision that the library community thought had been dropped....

Blankets coverMarshall completes policy review, keeps graphic novels
The board of the Marshall (Mo.) Public Library approved a new policy on materials selection at its March 14 meeting and agreed to put two coming-of-age graphic novels back on the shelves. Trustees had set up a committee last October to create a selection policy in the wake of a challenge by Marshall resident Louise Mills over the appropriateness of Fun Home by Alison Bechdel and Blankets by Craig Thompson, which were pulled from circulation until guidelines were established....

ALA News

New American Story coverBill Bradley to keynote Annual Conference
Former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley will keynote the Opening General Session at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., June 23, 5:30–7:00 p.m. Bradley has been a three-time basketball All-American at Princeton, an Olympic gold medalist, a Rhodes scholar, and a professional player for 10 years with the New York Knicks. Elected to the Senate from New Jersey in 1978, 1984, and 1990, he has authored extensive legislation, including the Tax Reform Act of 1986. His most recent book, The New American Story, will be officially released by Random House March 23....

Screen shot of Magnum AL, showing Leonard "Bossman" KniffelMeet the American Libraries staff
Just in time for the magazine’s 100th anniversary, meet the forever-young editors of American Libraries in a gritty, action-packed thrill-ride, “Magnum, A.L.” This 1:26 video kicks off what we hope will be an increased video/podcast/Web 2.0 presence for AL, produced and directed by AL Associate Editor Daniel Kraus....
YouTube, Mar. 19

EPA library workers recognized on Freedom of Information Day
On March 16, during the celebration of Freedom of Information Day, ALA President Leslie Burger acknowledged the courage of a special group—the library staff of the Environmental Protection Agency. “In the face of closures within the EPA library network and significant reorganization,” Burger said in her remarks, “current and former members of the EPA library staff have had the courage to come forward with information that has brought to light actions that have endangered the scientific communities’ and the public’s access to essential environmental information.”...

Ridley KesslerRidley Kessler honored
ALA President Leslie Burger took a moment during the Freedom of Information Day celebration March 16 to honor Ridley Kessler, retired documents librarian at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who passed away January 11, after devoting much of his life to the cause of access to government information....

Digitization principles draft
In January 2007, the Digitization Policy Task Force of ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy introduced a draft Principles for Digitized Content. Its goal is to succinctly voice the primary policy areas that can guide libraries as they make decisions regarding digitization. The task force will accept comments on the draft until May 1....
ALA Digitization Principles blog, Mar. 2

U-X-L Graphic Novelists coverFeatured review: Reference
Pendergast, Tom, and Sara Pendergast. U-X-L Graphic Novelists. Dec. 2006. U-X-L/Thomson Gale, hardcover (978-1-4144-0440-0).
It is difficult to find a truly satisfying definition of graphic novels. Calling them long, elaborate comic books does not begin to sum up their intricate plots and compelling artwork. They are not confined to formulaic structures, nor do they address common themes. They do share one common feature: Their popularity with both young adult and adult audiences has been steadily climbing in recent years, making it difficult for libraries to keep up with the demand. This current work, a biographical encyclopedia of individuals who create graphic novels, will lend legitimacy to this fast-growing and ever-expanding genre....

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

D.C. Update

United States Holocaust Memorial MuseumALA visits the Holocaust Memorial Museum
A free preconference event has been planned for ALA Annual Conference on Friday, June 22, 9 a.m. to noon, by the Jewish Information Committee of ALA’s Ethnic and Multicultural Exchange Round Table. The program at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum will feature resource experts and Holocaust survivors who will discuss new research collections and oportunities. To sign up, contact Ellen Zyroff....

Division News

Mike SchmokerMike Schmoker to headline AASL President’s Program
The AASL President’s Program at Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., will feature author Mike Schmoker speaking on “The Opportunity: From ‘Brutal Facts’ to the Best Schools We’ve Ever Had.” Schmoker is the author of The Results Fieldbook: Practical Strategies for Dramatically Improved Schools, in which he argues that meaningful teamwork, measurable goals, and the regular collection and analysis of student performance data constitute the foundation for significant results....

Campus advocacy program at ACRL National Conference
The ACRL University Library Section and the ALA Advocacy Institute will present a workshop titled “Campus Advocacy: Involving All Staff in Influencing Campus Dynamics” during ACRL’s 13th National Conference in Baltimore, March 30, 2:30–6 p.m. Attendees will learn how advocacy for all library staff is a critical component of success....

Changing roles of academic and research libraries
ACRL has published an essay on technology and change in academic libraries that resulted from a November 2–3, 2006, summit held in Chicago. The summit identified essential actions that libraries must take to achieve necessary transformations and remain a vital force on campus in the years ahead. Comments are encouraged on the ACRLog....


Paul K. McMastersPaul McMasters receives James Madison Award
ALA has presented Paul K. McMasters, First Amendment ombudsman for the Freedom Forum, with the 2007 James Madison Award, which honors those who have championed, protected, and promoted public access to government information and the public’s “right to know.” McMasters was given the award for his tireless work toward openness in government....

Patricia Glass SchumanPat Schuman receives Eileen Cooke Award
Patricia Glass Schuman, 1991–1992 ALA president and president of Neal-Schuman Publishers, is the recipient of the 2007 Eileen Cooke State and Local Madison Award, presented by ALA to honor those who, at the state and local levels, have championed, protected, and promoted public access to government information and the public’s “right to know.” Over the course of her distinguished career, Schuman has mentored and trained tens of thousands of librarians and trustees, creating an army of advocates across the nation....

John Sessions Memorial Award
The James B. Carey Library of the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, is the 2007 recipient of the John Sessions Memorial Award presented by RUSA. The award, supported by a donation from the AFL-CIO, is given to recognize a library that has made a significant effort to work with the labor community and brought recognition to the contributions of the labor movement to the development of the United States....

Priscilla CaplanCaplan chosen Library Hi Tech Award winner
Priscilla Caplan, assistant director for digital library services at the Florida Center for Library Automation, is the winner of the 2007 LITA Library Hi Tech award for Outstanding Communication in Library and Information Technology, sponsored by Emerald. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in communicating to educate practitioners within the library field....

LAMA seeks top PR materials for “Best of Show” awards
The LAMA Public Relations and Marketing Section has opened its Swap and Shop “Best of Show” awards competition. This annual awards program recognizes outstanding public relations materials produced by libraries in 2006. Winners will be on display during the Swap and Shop program June 24 during ALA Annual Conference in Washington. Entries must be postmarked by April 1....

A Ramble through Rowan's History video series logoRowan Public Library’s winning video series
The Rowan Public Library in Salisbury, North Carolina, is the winner of a statewide award for its video series “A Ramble Through Rowan’s History.” The library program is one of nine county programs statewide to receive the 2006 Outstanding County Program Award from the N.C. Association of County Commissioners....
Salisbury (N.C.) Post, Mar. 21

New award for military writing (PDF file)
The Tawani Foundation has announced a new annual award, the Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing. The award recognizes the lifetime contributions of a living author of works of American military history and affairs. The deadline for nominations is May 1....
Tawani Foundation, Mar. 19

Seen Online

Intro from Carol Lay's Amends stripCartoonist Carol Lay makes amends
To answer the many complaints and comments she received from librarians after she devoted one of her “WayLay” series of comic strips in Salon to the recent “scrotum” controversy, comic artist Carol Lay inked “A-mends” as a sort of apology. (If you are not a subscriber, you can look at a sponsor’s ad to read the strip.)....
Salon, Mar. 20

LJ Movers and Shakers articleMovers and Shakers, 2007
Many of the 50 librarians and other individuals profiled in Library Journal’s 2007 Movers and Shakers represent a new breed. They are young enough to have grown up with computers and the internet. They’re not just embracing new technology, they own it. They create it. And they use it to develop and deliver myriad services to library users and nonusers, to meet their customers online, and to bring up to snuff even those who aren’t yet comfortable with our high-speed world....
Library Journal, Mar. 15

Diana ShonrockThe cookbook librarian
RUSA President Diana Shonrock is known as the “cookbook librarian” at Iowa State University’s Parks Library. She looks for nutrition-based and Iowa cookbooks, both for her personal collection as well as for the library’s Iowa Cookbook Collection. Shonrock likes challenging recipes, such as a sour cream cherry coffee cake from the mystery series of Diane Mott Davidson. Family favorites include beef spare ribs with cheddar polenta, a goulash recipe from Shonrock’s childhood, and a butter cookie her mother made from the 1951 Betty Crocker cookbook....
Ames (Iowa) Tribune, Mar. 7

Lawsuit challenges FBI’s national security letters
The FBI’s expanded use of national security letters is being challenged by a small internet service provider in New York who is under a gag order barring him from talking about the case. The lawsuit is believed to be one of only two constitutional challenges to the USA Patriot Act provisions that have dramatically broadened the FBI’s authority to gather confidential information about thousands of Americans in the effort to hunt terrorists....
Long Island (N.Y.) Newsday, Mar. 21

Of the places you’ll go, is the library still one of them?
Jeff Zaslow writes: “For parents and grandparents, it’s hard to accept that young people today often feel little connection to the local library. We recall the libraries of our childhoods as magical places; getting our first library card was a rite of passage. It saddens us that younger generations seem more eager to buy books than borrow them, or that they consider libraries just another tool for acquiring information.”...
Wall Street Journal, Mar. 15

Applegate branch of the Jackson County Library ServicesA failed levy won’t stop Jackson County library supporters
Library advocates are looking beyond the May 15 election in case voters reject a levy that would reopen all 15 branches of the Jackson County (Oreg.) Library Services. In the May election, voters will decide on a three-year levy that would generate $8.3 million annually for the libraries, which are closing April 6. If the measure fails, other options include holding another levy or asking voters to create a special district in November 2008—a move that would make libraries financially independent from the county....
Medford (Oreg.) Mail Tribune, Mar. 14

Haverhill library uses geothermal energy
You can go to the Haverhill (Mass.) Public Library and read up on geothermal technology, or just talk to the building custodian. Michael Hutchinson helps maintain the library’s geothermal heating and cooling system, one of Haverhill’s hidden gems that few people know about. Warm water deep in the Earth has helped to heat and cool the library for the past 12 years....
North Andover (Mass.) Eagle-Tribune, Mar. 21

Virginia pulls funds from Craig County library
The Library of Virginia Board voted March 19 to deny the fledgling Craig County Public Library in New Castle state aid for the current fiscal year. The revocation of state aid is the first in Virginia since 1980, according to Director of Library Development and Networking Elizabeth Lewis. The board’s vote was prompted by the county’s failure to meet state funding and staff requirements, despite reorganization efforts by its Friends group....
Roanoke (Va.) Times, Mar. 20

Mom used kids in Cincinnati library theft
A movie buff who works as a clerk in a video game store helped unravel the case of hundreds of missing DVDs from the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. The clerk’s tip led to the arrest of a Camp Washington woman who told police that she used her four children to help her get the DVDs....
Cincinnati Enquirer, Mar. 16

Former library employee suspected of embezzlement
The Andover (Ohio) Public Library board of trustees has asked the Ashtabula County Prosecutor’s Office to proceed with filing criminal charges against former library employee Sonia Orahood for alleged embezzlement of funds from the library. Library officials are seeking full restitution of the missing funds, totaling $89,738, as well as $20,000 in special audit costs billed to the library. Criminal charges are expected to be filed by the prosecutor’s office....
Ashtabula (Ohio) Star-Beacon, Mar. 16

Acting civil in Tallahassee
The story in AL Direct last week about disruptive teens at the LeRoy Collins Leon County (Fla.) Public Library
was removed from the Tallahassee Democrat’s website because it contained numerous errors. Library Director Helen Moeller told American Libraries that “we are pleased that our local paper ran an editorial which put the facts and issues into a broader community perspective.” She added that the library has been much quieter in the past week or so....
Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat, Mar. 13

Springhill branch libraryNova Scotia library damaged in fire
Chief Librarian Frances Newman is waiting for word on the condition of thousands of smoke-damaged books removed for cleaning from the Springhill branch of the Cumberland Regional Library in Nova Scotia. The library, located in an old miners’ hall, closed indefinitely March 14 after it was damaged in a fire that police say a 12-year-old girl set....
Halifax (N.S.) Chronicle, Mar. 20

Dark day for B.C. Legislature Library
The British Columbia Legislature Library in Victoria is closing down indefinitely for a seismic upgrade, and there is widespread concern it won’t reopen. The 29 staff in the 90-year-old facility attached to the back of the legislature building were told in mid-March to start packing for a move when the current session concludes this spring. The bulk of the library’s vast collection of historical documents will be shipped to a warehouse....
Victoria (B.C.) Times Colonist, Mar. 16

National Library of Wales centenary flagWelsh library centennial
The National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth is celebrating its centennial by staging its largest-ever exhibition of its collections. This is one of a number of events to mark the 100th anniversary of its establishment on March 19, 1907. The exhibition, called “In this Place,” will feature the library’s most important works and run until November....
BBC News, Mar. 19

Grover Cleveland’s grandson stumps for presidential library
Organizers of a plan to turn a former North Buffalo, New York, library building into a library and museum honoring Grover Cleveland, America’s 22nd and 24th president, have enlisted the help of Cleveland’s grandson. Members of Free New York, a local nonprofit research group, took George Cleveland on a tour of Buffalo March 14, where his grandfather was elected mayor in 1881....
Buffalo (N.Y.) News, Auburn (N.Y.) Citizen, Mar. 15

The Old Curiosity Shop, by Charles DickensBritish schools refuse boring classics
Dozens of schools have rejected gifts of free classic books because today’s pupils find them too “difficult” to read. Around 50 schools have refused to stock literary works by the likes of Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, and Charles Dickens after admitting that youngsters also find them boring. The worrying figures were released by the Millennium Library Trust, which donates sets of up to 300 books to schools around the UK....
Evening Standard, Mar. 20

Iraq’s cultural curators defy sectarian unrest
Cultural life in Iraq is reeling after years of attacks linked to the violence that has gripped the country since the U.S. invasion in 2003. But against all odds, an institution that collects books and documents is being rebuilt. The Iraq National Library and Archive is literally rising from the ashes and being turned into something that goes far beyond what it was before....
NPR Morning Edition, Mar. 16

Hamas reverses school book ban
The Hamas-run Palestinian education ministry has lifted a ban on a children’s anthology of folktales following widespread public outcry. Officials had demanded that Speak Bird, Speak Again by Ibrahim Muhawi and Sharif Kanaana, which features mild sexual references, be removed from school libraries. Education Minister Nasser Shaer said the “tempest in a teacup” was over and the decision had been rescinded....
BBC News, Mar. 13

Tech Talk

Virtua post Roma
VTLS will be offering a free license to its integrated library system, Virtua, in return for a 3-year service contract. Basically, it’s an alternative to waiting to migrate to another system, but is pointedly in response to SisriDynix’s recent announcement about its new platform, code-named “Rome.” Of course, there are the requisite rules and exceptions, but you can’t say it’s small print. It’s all right there in the program details....
Hectic Pace blog, Mar. 16

Heritrix logoAround the world in 2 billion pages
The Internet Archive is embarking on a project to create a unique global snapshot of the Web and to help improve and demonstrate the scalability of its open source Heritrix web crawler. Using a grant from the Mellon Foundation, IA will commence a global crawl to capture 2 billion web pages and make them available to the public. Libraries and archives are among those eligible to submit URLs by May 1....
Internet Archive, Mar. 15

Google adds search privacy protections
Google’s servers log information every time someone conducts a web search, keeping data such as the keywords used, the Internet Protocol address, and information from web cookies. Currently, Google maintains the search data logs indefinitely. Under the new policy announced March 14, the company will anonymize the final eight bits of the IP address and the cookie data after somewhere between 18 months and 24 months....
C|Net news, Mar. 14

Troubleshooting 101
What sets the true tweakers apart from those who have to call in the electrician or the Geek Squad often comes down to your approach to troubleshooting those problems. It’s simply a matter of logic and deduction—particularly if you might have caused the problem yourself. Loyd Case has put together some tips to help you uncover the source of those problems, fix them, and move on....
ExtremeTech, Mar. 19

A Yahoo! guide to podcasting
A podcast can truly be anything. This is your chance to share your voice, your thoughts, and your imagination with the world. Many people create talk-show podcasts, but you don’t have to limit yourself to just that format. With just a few pieces of gear, this tutorial, and a little inspiration, you can be podcasting in no time at all....
Yahoo! Podcasts

Actions & Answers

MayDay logoCultural institutions to observe MayDay
Archives, libraries, museums, and historic preservation organizations are setting aside May 1 to participate in a national effort to protect collections from disasters. The Heritage Emergency National Task Force urges cultural institutions across the country to observe MayDay by taking at least one step to prepare to respond to a disaster. Any organization can participate in MayDay. Last year, the Louisiana State University Libraries Special Collections staff were trained to put out small fires with an extinguisher....
Heritage Preservation, Mar. 15

The Scientist, March 2007A hostile environment for documents
Glenn McGee writes: “Like most U.S. agencies charged with the oversight of the public’s health, the Environmental Protection Agency relies on accumulated wisdom as it navigates new and varied problems. You’d think that the agency responsible for, say, all clinical information on the effects of pesticides would do anything to keep those systems of information fully operational and to modernize. But in fact, the greatest environmental disaster of this decade may be the amnesia that the White House and EPA seem hell-bent on causing.”...
The Scientist 21, no. 3 (Mar.): 26

E-rate program judged successful
A new report, E-Rate: 10 Years of Connecting Kids and Community (PDF file), released March 1 by two education coalitions—the Education and Libraries Networks Coalition and the National Coalition for Technology in Education and Training—states that the e-rate has transformed America’s schools and libraries into modern institutions, but its mission is not yet complete. The report indicates that e-rate–supported connectivity allows 100% of public libraries to provide free internet access to their communities....
Government Technology, Mar. 1

Section of Internet censorship mapWorld internet censorship map
In an effort to counter the once borderless internet, states are seeking to create informational boundaries in cyberspace. This is accomplished through a combination of technical and regulatory means—including laws, licensing regimes, industry self-regulation, national filtering, and content removal—thereby creating a matrix of controls. The OpenNet Initiative has created this interactive global map to highlight those countries with restrictions....
OpenNet Initiative

ILL: What goes around
Visiting scholar Susanna Ashton writes of her experiences with interlibrary loan at the Boole Library at Ireland’s University College Cork: “I have since learned that interlibrary lending isn’t free at all but a gift paid for by every American taxpayer. The average American probably doesn’t know it, but interlibrary lending in the United States costs somewhat more than what the University College Cork was charging to cover its expenses. The system works precisely because it helps everyone.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education, Mar. 14

Baxter the Maine Library MascotBaxter, the Maine library mas-cat
Baxter is on the prowl. A large Maine Coon cat, Baxter is the new mascot for Maine libraries, and is sporting a new name following a six-week statewide contest. More than 1,200 name suggestions flooded into the Maine State Library after the contest began in January. The winner, Ben Allen of Pittsfield, was selected March 15 by a random drawing in Augusta....
Maine State Library, Mar. 15

Worldcat’s Top 1000 on del.ici.ous
OCLC has added its 2005 Top 1000 Works on Worldcat list to del.ici.ous, enabling the user to sort by ISBN, OCLC number, language, genre, and time period; for example, works of poetry, books in Latin, and books from the 17th century. I understand they are working on an update to this fun facts compilation....
Lorcan Dempsey’s Weblog, Mar. 15

Keeping the small library afloat
Laura Pelehach writes: “One challenge I often hear from librarians, particularly those new to management, is discovering things ‘they’ didn’t teach us in library school. This week, I’ve been working on a manuscript for ALA Editions, The Small Library Survival Guide, by Herb Landau, director of a tiny library in the heavily Amish community of Lancaster, Pa. About 50% of his time, Landau says, is devoted to fund-raising.”...
ALA Editions blog, Mar. 20

Telex cassette ceremonyNo more talking cassettes
The Library of Congress’s National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped produced its last analog cassette book machine on February 17, signaling the advent of Digital Talking Books. During a ceremony held on March 1 in Blue Earth, Minnesota, Telex Communications presented NLS with the milestone player—the 1,248,113th manufactured by the company since 1983....
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Mar. 19

Mellon Foundation grants CLIR $2.19 million in operating funds
The Council on Library and Information Resources has received a three-year, $2.19-million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support general operations. The award will allow CLIR to launch a range of new initiatives in six program areas: cyberinfrastructure, preservation, the next scholar, the emerging library, leadership, and new models....
Council on Library and Information Resources, Mar. 19

The Topeka library's Adventuremobile proclaims "Reading is Your Pot O'Gold" to the parade watchers along the downtown routeReading is your pot o’ gold
The Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library celebrated reading on St. Patrick’s Day by decorating one of its bookmobiles and marching alongside it in the city’s parade. The Adventuremobile is stocked with popular children’s books for visiting local elementary schools during the school year and community sites during the summer months....
Paper Cuts blog, Mar. 19

Boeing gives National Archives $5 million
The Boeing Company has awarded a $5 million gift to share the National Archives’ rich resources with Americans across the country. The gift will enable the National Archives to complete its center for educational outreach, which will be known as the Boeing Learning Center. In addition, the gift will fund the launch of an expanded traveling exhibition program, beginning with the critically acclaimed “Eyewitness: American Originals from the National Archives.”...
National Archives, Mar. 7

Play Park children's libraryPlay Park at Bhatiari

Caroline Feller Bauer sets up children’s library and recreation center in Bangladesh
Educator, storyteller, and ALA author Caroline Feller Bauer has established a children’s play park in the village of Bhatiari, near Chittagong in Bangladesh, complete with a library, school, and art gallery. Bauer, currently a Chittagong resident, told American Libraries that after the grand opening March 2 she has scheduled a full set of activities that includes chess lessons, music lessons, and storytimes—all open without charge to the children in the community.

D. Figarola Caneda  (1852-1926) First Director of the National Library of Cuba (Jose Marti National Library)Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919)  was often referred to as the "Patron Saint of Libraries’"Library people on postage stamps
Larry Nix writes: “People who have worked in a library or made a contribution to libraries have appeared on relatively few postage stamps. Usually when they have, it is because they made a contribution to society in some other capacity than library work or support. It is regrettable that more library people have not been honored on postage stamps. Unfortunately, it is an indication of the value that society places on those who work in or for libraries.”...
Library History Buff, Mar. 9

Annual Conference 2007 logo

First-timer at an ALA Conference? Check out this handy guide to ALA structure and suggestions on what to do at conferences.

Managing Your Library Construction Project cover

Expert author Richard C. McCarthy is an architect with in-depth expertise building libraries as well as an 18-year veteran library trustee. He communicates the challenges and opportunities from both sides of the table. Managing Your Library Construction Project is filled with practical advice to understand key relationships and manage a complex process. NEW! From ALA Editions.

IFLA WLIC Conference logo

The World Library and Information Congress, 73rd IFLA General Conference and Council, Durban, South Africa, August 19–23, “Libraries for the Future: Progress, Development, and Partnerships.” The March preconference issue of IFLA Express (PDF file) contains the latest news about activities.

In this issue
March 2007

Current AL cover

Mattering in the Blogosphere: Observations from the Well-Connected

Search Fatigue

Midwinter Meeting Report

Old voting machine

ALA elections are in progress. The polls close April 24. Biographical information on the candidates is on the official ballot (PDF file).

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Executive Director, ALA Library Administration and Management Association, Chicago. The executive director facilitates and directs the support of the work of volunteers in seven sections, 20 committees and task forces, a wide range of discussion and interest groups, and the Council of LAMA Affiliates, by providing counsel, advice, direction, and staff support for their ideas and plans....

@ More jobs...

National Library Workers Day

National Library Workers Day, April 17, is a day for library staff, users, administrators, and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers.

School Libraries and Science Achievement. Wayne State University LIS Assistant Professor Marcia Mardis analyzes usage, staffing, collections, technology, and budgets of Michigan school library media programs to see whether there is a correlation with MEAP science test scores. See what she found out in this School Library Media Research report.

Public Perception
How the World
Sees Us

He was sick of the excuses and the lies. He was tired of the evasions and the untruths, of people refusing to stand up and speak the truth and take responsibility for their own actions. It seemed to him like yet another symptom of the decline of Western civilization; of chaos; and climate change; and environmental disaster; and war; disease; famine; oppression; the eternal slow slide down and down and down. It was entropy, nemesis, apotheosis, imminent apocalypse, and sheer bad manners all rolled into one.
    “People were not returning their library books on time.”

—The opening paragraphs of Mr. Dixon Disappears by Ian Sansom (Harper, 2007), book two in the Mobile Library Mystery series.


Ebrary is winding up its Global eBook Survey. If you haven’t yet filled it out, keep in mind that the company is offering to all participating libraries a free annual subscription to its Library Center, which features more than 75 eBooks spanning topics such as digital library development, collection development, the history of libraries and librarianship, and illustrated guides from the U.S. Library of Congress.

Ask the ALA Librarian

Kids reading

Q. The teachers at my school want me to fill the library with “leveled books” (reading materials sorted or arranged by reading level) for the students to read. I’m not sure this is a good idea. What can you tell me about them?

A. Both ALA’s American Association of School Librarians and the National Council of Teachers of English have registered concerns in using such programs, pointing out the limitations and presumptions inherent in them, in determining what children of a certain age “should” read. Find out more on the ALA Professional Tips wiki.

The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.


Apply for:

By Mar. 19:
ALA’s Public Programs Office
seeks applications from school libraries to receive “Picturing America,” a collection of laminated posters depicting works of American art, a resource booklet, and the Picturing America website. Contact: PPO.

By Mar. 27:
Advancing Knowledge: The Institute of Museum and Library Services/National Endowment for the Humanities Digital Partnership
grant program seeks applications for innovative, collaborative, humanities projects that use the latest digital technologies.

By Apr. 2:
U.S. Department of Education will award approximately 100 Improving Literacy through School Libraries grants ranging from $30,000 to $300,000 to school districts in which at least 20% of students are from families below the poverty line.

By Apr. 3:
National Endowment for the Humanities Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants award up to $30,000 for planning or initial stages of digital initiatives in all areas of the humanities. The April 3 deadline is for projects beginning September 2007. Contact: NEH, 202-606-8401.

By Apr. 12:
The National Endowment for the Arts offers approximately 120 Big Read grants of $5,000 to $40,000 to promote and operate month-long, community-based reading programs. There was a March 1 deadline to submit “Intent to Apply” forms, but they are not required to submit grant applications.

By May 1:
The Institute of Museum and Library Services seeks applications for Native American Library Services Enhancement Grants.

By May 15:
The United States Board on Books for Young People seeks applications to submit as its entry for the 2008 International Board on Books for Young People Asahi Reading Promotion Award. The $10,000 award is given to two nonprofit groups or institutions that are making lasting contributions to book promotion programs for children. Contact: Rusty True Browder, 617-803-8250.

By Sept. 15:
The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation awards $500 minigrants to school and public libraries for programs that encourage literacy and creativity in children.

Libri Foundation Books For Children Grants will match $50 to $350 raised by local sponsors on a 2-to-1 ratio to help small, rural public libraries buy children’s books. The foundation makes grants three times a year, with deadlines of Apr. 15, July 15, and Dec. 15. Contact: Barbara J. McKillip, 541-747-9655.

The ALA Honor Roll Website will acknowledge libraries that are champions of staff support and development, that provide support to their employees to attend work-related workshops, conferences, and/or classes. Sponsored by the Programs and Special Projects Working Group of the Better Salaries and Pay Equity Task Force. Submit an electronic application. Contact: Teri Switzer.

The Staples Foundation for Learning makes quarterly grants to programs from 501(c)(3) organizations that support or provide job skills and/or education for all people, with a special emphasis on disadvantaged youth. Upcoming deadlines are Apr. 6, Aug. 3, and Dec. 7.

@ More...

Contact Us
American Libraries Direct

AL Direct is a free electronic newsletter e-mailed 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:

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.