May 23,

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

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U.S. & World News

Jackson County voters reject levy
Voters in Jackson County, Oregon, decisively rejected a property tax levy May 15 that would have reopened the county’s library system, which shut down April 6. The proposal, which would have raised $8.3 million annually, lost by a vote of 58–42%....

Information icon used by the Zion-Benton (Ill.) Public Library DistrictIllinois libraries protest mandatory filters
On May 14, public libraries across Illinois drew attention to legislation that would effectively require filters on all public library computers in the state. The Internet Screening in Public Libraries Act (H.B. 1727) passed 63–51 in the Illinois House of Representatives May 2 and was sent to the state senate, prompting the Illinois Library Association to request that public libraries participate in a “day of unity” by shutting off or limiting their internet access, distributing informational bookmarks or fliers, or otherwise communicating to patrons their opposition to the bill....

Cover of The Bermudez TriangleWhere is Bartlesville High School’s Bermudez Triangle?
A series of blog posts by author Maureen Johnson claiming that her novel The Bermudez Triangle has been banned by the Bartlesville (Okla.) Mid-High has resulted in a May 10 Bartlesville Community Examiner-Enterprise story clarifying that the book is being reconsidered and not withdrawn. Johnson told the newspaper that a committee member had returned one of her phone inquiries May 4 to explain. “To be honest, I couldn’t get a lot of information about what was going on,” Johnson said....

Still from Urban Libraries Council video, showing ULC President Martin GomezUrban Libraries Council conference: The video
“Partners for Success: the Changing Face of Cities” was the theme of the 2007 Urban Libraries Council conference held May 4–5 in Cleveland. This short video (4:16) by American Libraries magazine spotlights the Cleveland Public Library and features several conference speakers and a city tour. Footage shot by Leonard Kniffel, with editing by Daniel Kraus....
YouTube, May 22

ALA News

Register for the Parade of Bookmobiles
A Parade of Bookmobiles is scheduled for Tuesday, June 26, at ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. Libraries have until May 30 to register their bookmobiles. The Office for Literacy and Outreach Services is organizing the event through its Subcommittee on Library Services to Bookmobiles, with support from the Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services....

Closed out of the libraryKeep up to date on library funding
The Public Information Office maintains a database that tracks news about public, school, and academic library funding for each state. Launched in April 2004, the database contains short summaries of library funding cuts, fundraising, and bond issues around the country....
Public Information Office

Volunteers needed for Library Day on the Hill
The ALA Washington Office is seeking 50 volunteers for Library Day on the Hill, Tuesday, June 26. Volunteers will have the unique opportunity to join thousands of librarians who will walk the corridors of Capitol Hill and show the value of libraries to members of Congress....
District Dispatch blog, May 22

Cover of De Niro's GameFeatured review: Adult books
Hage, Rawi. De Niro’s Game. Aug. 2007. 277p. Steerforth, hardcover (978-1-58195-223-0).
East meets West in this stunning first novel yielding a totally fresh perspective on war-torn Beirut. Bassam and George have been best friends since childhood, when they roamed the ruined streets of their hometown, making a game out of collecting empty bullets and cannon shells to trade for cigarettes. Now, years into the civil war, “ten thousand bombs had landed,” and the two have lost their parents and many neighbors to them, growing hard and cynical in the process....

Dark World of David GoodisThe dark world of David Goodis
Keir Graff writes: “Crime fiction fans use authors’ names as passwords. This serves multiple functions. Leading with the right name establishes the speaker’s own street cred, challenges the respondent’s street cred, and weeds out the dilettantes. (Upon hearing the name of an obscure writer, the proper response is to praise an obscure work from said author’s bibliography, in hopes of out-obscuring the speaker.) More usefully, the authors of the genre’s canonical texts serve as a kind of shorthand for all the writers who have worked in similar styles.”...

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

D.C. Update

Shakespeare in Washington logoShakespeare in Washington
Revel in the genius of the Bard through many magnificent presentations during this unprecedented festival in Washington through June 2007. The Shakespeare Theatre Company is putting on Hamlet June 5–July 29, and the Library of Congress is offering Shakespeare Tours through July 17. The Folger Shakespeare Library is hosting an exhibit on “Shakespeare in American Life,” and five innovative architects and set designers have been commissioned to create hypothetical Shakespearean theaters for the 21st century at the National Building Museum....
Shakespeare in Washington

Modernism timeline at the Corcoran Art GalleryModernism at the Corcoran
The Corcoran Gallery of Art is featuring an exhibition on “Modernism: Designing a New World 1914–1939” through July 29. Now on international tour from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Corcoran Gallery of Art is the final—and only American—venue....
Corcoran Gallery of Art

Division News

Barbara A. MacikasMacikas appointed ASCLA/RUSA executive director
Barbara A. Macikas has been appointed executive director of ASCLA and RUSA, effective May 21. She has served as PLA deputy executive director since 2000 and worked in ALA Conference Services, serving as director from 1988 to 1992....

YALSA 50th anniversary logoYALSA celebrates 50th anniversary in style
YALSA will mark its 50th anniversary with two special events at the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., June 21–27. The celebration begins Friday night at YALSA’s anniversary bash—free to all registered attendees. Conference-goers are also invited to an anniversary party at YALSA’s Member Booth in the ALA Pavilion of the Exhibits Hall on Sunday....

Excellence in library service to young adults
June 1 is the deadline for submitting exemplary teen programs or services for inclusion in the 5th edition of YALSA’s Excellence in Library Service to Young Adults. Up to 25 programs will be selected; the top five programs will receive cash awards of $1,000 and “the best of the rest” will receive cash awards of $250 each....

Cover of How to Ruin a Summer Vacation, by Simon Elkeles, a Teens' Top Ten nomineeTeens’ Top 10 encourages summer reading
It’s summer reading time, and YALSA offers a great resource for young adult librarians planning summer programs: the 2007 Teens’ Top Ten nominees. This year’s TTT nominees include 25 books released between January 2006 and March 2007 in several genres, including mysteries, science fiction, fantasies, and realistic fiction. Teens across the country are encouraged to read the nominated titles and participate in the national vote during Teen Read Week, October 14–20....

Pat R. ScalesScales elected ALSC president
Pat R. Scales, retired school librarian and independent consultant in Greenville, South Carolina, has been elected vice-president/president-elect of ALSC. She plans to focus her presidential efforts on member recruitment, professional development, expansion of partnerships with government and educational organizations, and development of a robust voice within ALA governance....

ALSC selects three libraries for Bookapalooza
The three libraries selected to receive a collection of children’s materials in ALSC’s first annual Bookapalooza program are College Gate Elementary School Library in Anchorage, Alaska; Custer County School District Library (Westcliffe, Colo.); and Creswell (Oreg.) Library. The collections, which consist of books, videos, audiobooks, and recordings produced in 2006, are intended to help transform each library’s collection....

CPLA logoPLA to offer Certified Public Library Administrator courses
PLA will offer nine approved courses for the Certified Public Library Administrator program. The courses will be presented through partnerships with state libraries and library systems across the country. Registration is open to CPLA candidates as well as librarians looking for quality, specialized continuing education....


Sen. Chuck GrassleySen. Grassley gets Lifetime Achievement Award
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) was awarded with a Lifetime Achievement Award by 25 whistleblower advocacy groups, including the American Library Association. The award honors Grassley’s leadership in obtaining congressional approval of the landmark whistleblower protections in the False Claims Act, Civil Rights Tax Fairness Act, Whistleblower Protection Act, and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act....

2007 Trustee Citation winners
ALTA has named Jane Rowland and Patricia O’H. Norman as the 2007 Trustee Citation award winners. Rowland has served on the Calumet City (Ill.) Public Library Board since 1994 and is the current president, and Norman is the present chair of the Library Board of Trustees at the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, North Carolina....

LITA announces scholarship winners
The 2007 winner of the LITA/Christian Larew Memorial scholarship ($3,000) is Karin Dalziel, an active LIS student at the University of Missouri at Columbia. The LITA/LSSI Minority Scholarship ($2,500) winner is Lydia C. Welhan, who will pursue her studies at Indiana University. Heather Devine is the winner of the LITA/OCLC Minority Scholarship ($3,000); she will pursue studies at San Jose State University....

Cover of The Dream Life of SukhanovOlga Grushin wins Young Lions Fiction Award
At a ceremony May 21, Olga Grushin was presented with the New York Public Library’s 2007 Young Lions Fiction Award by Library President Paul LeClerc. Grushin’s first novel The Dream Life of Sukhanov is the haunting story of Anatoly Sukahnov, Russia’s leading art critic who is plagued by the ghosts of his past and must confront a lifetime of compromises....
New York Public Library, May 22

Kathleen de la Peña McCookMcCook awarded FLA Lifetime Achievement Award (PDF file)
Kathleen de la Peña McCook, distinguished professor in the Department of Library and Information Science at the University of South Florida, was presented with the Florida Library Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the closing session of the FLA Conference April 13....
Florida Library Association

Larry MooreMoore wins CLA Service to Librarianship Award
Larry Moore, executive director of the Ontario Library Association, has won the Canadian Library Association’s Outstanding Service to Librarianship Award for 2007. Moore has been instrumental in the success of OLA and its programs and in initiating national cooperative projects that are ongoing and positive contributions to librarianship in Canada....
Canadian Library Association, May 15

Marsha KmecKmec named UCLA Librarian of the Year
Marsha Kmec, director of library services at Olive View–UCLA Medical Center, has been named 2007 Librarian of the Year by the Librarians Association of the University of California, Los Angeles. The award, presented May 14, recognized Kmec’s innovation and leadership in developing and implementing a video network in the medical center’s emergency room waiting area that continuously broadcasts health education videos in English and Spanish....
Library Association of the University of California, Los Angeles

Seen Online

Map thief ordered to pay $2.3 million
A renowned dealer who admitted stealing about 100 rare antique maps was ordered May 22 to pay $2.3 million in restitution to his victims around the country and abroad. E. Forbes Smiley III was sentenced in September to 3-1/2 years in prison after one librarian described him as a “thief who assaulted history.” He was tentatively ordered to pay restitution of $1.9 million, but that figure was increased after the parties worked to recover the maps and assess their value....
Associated Press, May 23

Harry Potter postage stampUK to issue Harry Potter stamps
The avalanche of letters that helped free Harry Potter from his cruel relatives is to find a strange parallel in the real world. On July 17 Royal Mail will issue a series of seven postage stamps depicting the colorful covers of each of the books in J. K. Rowling’s series. The commemorative designs will be released to coincide with the launch of the last of the Harry Potter books, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows....
The Guardian (U.K.), May 21

Rochester to keep website ban
Access to websites deemed pornographic will continue to be blocked at the Central Library of Rochester unless an administrator deems a site appropriate for a patron to view, according to a task force’s recommendation. The recommendation, released May 23, seeks to appease Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks and quell her threat to pull $6.6 million in funding from the library over a longstanding policy that had let adult patrons—upon request and with no questions asked—unblock potentially inappropriate or pornographic websites....
Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle, May 23

Cover of Salud documentaryCastro critics protest Princeton’s film festival choices
The Princeton (N.J.) Public Library has inadvertently set off a firestorm of criticism involving Cuba, health care, and human rights. According to some critics, two of the 15 films—The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil, and ¡Salud! What Puts Cuba on the Map in the Quest for Global Health Care—shown during the library’s annual Human Rights Film Festival last weekend are “propaganda” and do not accurately reflect life in Cuba....
Princeton (N.J.) Packet, May 18

Digital information under threat
Jim Barksdale of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program and Francine Berman of the San Diego Supercomputer Center write: “The digital information that drives our world and powers our economy is in many ways more susceptible to loss than the papyrus and parchment at Alexandria. In February, Congress passed and the president signed legislation rescinding $47 million of NDIIPP’s approved funding. Some of the projects that were to be funded include preservation of important government records at the state level, such as legislative data and court records.”...
Contra Costa (Calif.) Times, May 22

A childhood issue? Ask a librarian
Geri Russell’s daughter Kate was suddenly afraid of wolves. So the mother went to the library in Parsippany, New Jersey, and asked children’s librarian Paula Lefkowitz for a good book on wolves for a preschooler. When parents need help, they talk to school psychologists, to therapists, social workers, their own parents, friends—themselves—and more than you might think, the local librarian....
New York Times, May 20

Bird-X's Prowler Owl Pest Pigeon RepellerLibrary’s owl decoy scares the pigeons
Change is in the air at the Mary Duncan Public Library in Benson, North Carolina. An outdoor programmable decoy has been installed to deter pigeons from roosting on the library’s roof. “It’s the mess they make that’s so awful,” Library Director Linda Hayes said. “You could not walk in front of the library for the pigeon poop. Until recently I used to have to sweep every morning.”...
Dunn (N.C.) Daily Record, May 21

Teen delivers 5,000 books to homeless schools
Libraries at the Thomas J. Pappas schools for the homeless in Phoenix are a little fuller, thanks to Brad Schell, a 17-year-old from Scottsdale who gave them more than 5,000 books May 11. Schell launched a two-month book drive that involved eight schools, several bookstores, and individuals, and he also donated about 2,500 books to the Scottsdale Unified School District....
Phoenix Arizona Republic, May 11

Madisonville branch of the St. Tammany Parish LibrariesSt. Tammany’s Madisonville branch status unclear
The townspeople of Madisonville will have to continue their wait for a library. With the former library building turned over to the parish and declared surplus property due to its post-Katrina state, Assistant Director Donald Westmoreland said May 15 the search will continue to find rental space for a temporary facility. The cost to repair the Madisonville branch would exceed $1 million....
St. Tammany (La.) News, May 18

St. Bernard Parish President Henry "Junior'' Rodriguez presents checks totaling $9,000 to Ethel Llamas, head of the parish library system, that were donated by a library association in Virginia. In background is the trailer that will be the new temporary site for the parish library. Photo by Steve CannizaroNew library arrives in St. Bernard Parish
St. Bernard Parish officials and residents welcomed the parish’s first post-hurricane public library May 15, a modular building in Chalmette that will provide some books and internet access. The library is being underwritten by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Arlene and Joseph Meraux Charitable Foundation....
New Orleans Times-Picayune, May 15; St. Bernard Parish, May 16

Library moving tip #54
Carol Bird, director of the Matson Public Library in Princeton, Illinois, suggests purchasing 1,500–2,000 printed bags and loading them with 10 books each. Library patrons can check out a bag of books—ones they might not even want to read—and keep the books until the new library is ready for them. Patrons would then return the books after the move, and keep the bag for their efforts....
LaSalle (Ill.) News Tribune, May 17

Libraries languish in Yemen...
Libraries in Yemen have become places for the drudgery of study, where people fight their way through books rather than truly engage with them. Around 250–300 visitors come to the library every day, but this number is going up because of the increase in students undertaking studies and research. Circulation Librarian Mohammed al-Sharabi said that after July, when the academic season finishes, the number of readers dramatically decreases....
Yemen Observer, May 19

...and in India too
However distinguished the provenance of public libraries in India, they are all rather sad places today. Only doctoral students come here now to trawl the dusty shelves of uncared-for books, rummage through the crumbling cards, and brave the apathetic sloth of the staff for the early and rare editions of novels and journals....
Business Standard, May 20

Biblioteca José VasconcelosMexico City library to reopen in July
When the Biblioteca José Vasconcelos opened in May 2006, the Alberto Kalach–designed campus was hailed as a cultural gem for Mexico City—and, at 500,000 square feet, it became the largest public library in Latin America. But the $100-million complex shut its doors in March amid water leaks, flooding, and political scandal. Although the library is scheduled to reopen in July, the project’s woes may not ease anytime soon. In response to allegations about improperly spent construction funds, the Mexican House of Representatives has announced that it is launching an investigation....
Architectural Record, May 22

Biblioteca Nacional José MartíA morning at Cuba’s National Library
Will Weissert writes about his recent visit to the Biblioteca Nacional José Martí in Havana: “Will some Cuban big brother be watching if I try to read Orwell’s 1984? I don’t see any security cameras, but there are small green and black posters proclaiming ‘No to censorship in Miami!’ It’s clear little criticism of Castro is tolerated at the National Library. The periodicals section has not a single back issue of the Miami Herald. In fact, there seems to be a serious lack of new reading material all over the library. If the card catalog is to be believed, book purchases dropped off sharply about 1996.”...
Associated Press, May 16

Tech Talk

Blogger & Podcaster April coverBasic podcast setups and formats
John E. Remondini and Rayna T. Johnson answer questions about podcast software and audio formats in the April “Ask the Audio Engineer” column in the Blogger & Podcaster online magazine. (Check out the entire issue, published in Olive ActiveMagazine format with page-turning capability and multimedia ads.)...
Blogger & Podcaster, April, p. 21

The end of news indexing as we know it?
Duncan Riley writes: “Scotland’s Sunday Herald reported May 20 that Google has secretly reached deals with several large UK news groups to formally license content for Google News. The deals are being kept secret to prevent other media sites asking for a similar deal from Google. If Google is forced to sign deals to provide links and traffic to media outlets, is Google News sustainable in its current format?”...
TechCrunch blog, May 20

Hectic Pace logoWhat next? Part 1
Andrew Pace writes: “Last week I asked why consolidation in the library vendor market is such a bad thing. Librarians typically don’t like consolidation. Then I began to wonder, who cares if I can’t choose between Ford and Chevy at the Avis lot? So here’s the question: If the rallying cry against further consolidation of a commodity market is ‘choice!’ then what are the choices we are trying to make?”...
Hectic Pace, May 23

Innovative Users Group draws 1,700 in San Jose
More than 1,700 library professionals from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and the Americas participated in over 150 programs at the 15th annual Innovative Users Group Conference held in San Jose, California, May 14–17. The keynote speaker of the conference was Robert X. Cringely, a former InfoWorld columnist who was host and writer of the 2001 PBS-TV miniseries Electric Money....
Innovative Interfaces, May 16

The psychology of banner ads
According to a study in the June Journal of Consumer Research by Xiang Fang, Surendra Singh, and Rohini Ahluwalia, repeated exposure to a product via banner ads generates a positive feeling towards that product, even though the ad’s presence does not register with most seasoned web browsers. The good news for consumers is that a critical reevaluation of the product can make these positive feelings vanish....
Ars Technica, May 19

Dance Dance Revolution gameDDR 101
Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) is popular with kids. However, there are some librarians who might still have questions on what the DDR options look like, even after attending presentations at conferences and reading posts on blogs. Here’s a basic overview, courtesy of Andrea Mercado....
PLA Blog, May 15

Google’s universal search
Lorcan Dempsey writes: “There has been some discussion—less than I expected—about Google’s steps to develop a unified search across its services so that blogs, videos, books, maps, and so on are returned in results on the main Google page. This is a major step, given the different ranking models that Google employs across these individual services. At the same time, the company has released some new experimental features that include displays of results around a timeline and on a map.”...
Lorcan Dempsey’s Weblog, May 18

Campus IT departments grapple with Vista
At colleges, universities, and K-12 institutions, IT decision makers are increasingly showing concern over performance, patching, and hardware requirements of Microsoft Windows Vista. IT leaders in higher education showed a decreasing concern over potential bugs in Vista’s initial release but seemed to be increasingly concerned over Vista’s hardware requirements and lack of apparent benefits....
Campus Technology, May 9

Actions & Answers

Still from A Fair(y) Use TaleDisney copyright parody
English and Film Studies Assistant Professor Eric Faden of Bucknell University provides this humorous yet informative review of copyright principles (“A Fair(y) Use Tale,” 10:13) delivered through the words of Disney characters, who cover the topics of copyright definition, what things can be copyrighted, copyright duration and the public domain, fair use, and why Disney cartoons were used to demonstrate the concepts. Don’t forget to read the FBI warning....
YouTube, May 18

Small magazines, big ideas
Bill Moyers writes: “It’s time to send an SOS for the least among us—I mean small independent magazines. They are always struggling to survive while making a unique contribution to the conversation of democracy. But an impending rate hike, worked out by postal regulators, with almost no public input but plenty of corporate lobbying, would reward big publishers like Time Warner, while forcing these smaller periodicals into higher subscription fees, big cutbacks, and even bankruptcy.”...
Common Dreams, May 19

Internet censorship on the rise globally
Twenty-five out of 41 governments studied block or filter internet content, according to a survey carried out by OpenNet Initiative, which is made up of groups at Cambridge University, Harvard Law School, Oxford University, and the University of Toronto. The governments are blocking services and applications such as Google Maps or Skype as well as websites. The top reasons for filtering are politics (blocking of opposition parties’ sites), social norms (blocking pornography or gambling), and national security concerns (blocking radical groups’ sites)...., May 18

Judy BlumeLiterary lightning rod
With classic children’s and young adult books such as Freckle Juice, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, and Superfudge, Judy Blume has tapped into the hearts of young readers for decades. The author, now 69, wanted to write books she wished she could have read while growing up, and young readers continue to be attracted to her stories that dwell on the problems of physical image and self-confidence that teens face....
Newsweek, May 18

Tracy Nectoux on libraries and bookstores
Tracy Nectoux, a library student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was given an assignment to visit a bookstore and compare its atmosphere to a library’s atmosphere. She came up with several arguments “why libraries should not encourage statements that they should be more like bookstores. Our purpose is unique and honorable, and this directly affects the unique and honorable service we provide.” Michael Zimmer offers a comparison chart, adding in Google Book Search....
Library Juice, May 17;, May 17

Using Wikipedia to extend digital collections
Ann M. Lally and Carolyn E. Dunford write about how they added content to entries in Wikipedia that supported or used the University of Washington’s digital collections as source material. The result was that Wikipedia began driving more traffic to the UW site: “Not only can we see that we are receiving referrals from; in addition, we can see specifically which articles are responsible for the traffic, and how much traffic is generated by the links in each article.”...
D-Lib Magazine 13, no. 5/6 (May/June)

MLA 2007 Conference logoArthur Caplan at MLA
Marie Ascher writes about the May 20 keynote address at the Medical Library Association conference given by Arthur Caplan, bioethicist from the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Bioethics. Caplan talked about “Peer Review in Science and Medicine: Does It or Can It Work?” and offered a description of conflicts of interest and how they affect scientific publishing. His message to librarians was to get involved in this issue, especially with regard to a more transparent review process....
MLA 2007 blog, May 20

Effective school library websites
Joyce Valenza summarizes the findings of her recently completed dissertation: “What are the universal features in the school library websites I studied? The features, present in all 10 sites of the sample, are—OPACs, databases, search tools, reference, documentation, and contact information. Nine of the sample sites include links to other OPACs, links to news sources, online book discussions, library hours, and staff information.”...
NeverEndingSearch blog, May 19

Gulf Coast recovery grants
Applications for the next round of grants for the Gulf Coast School Library Recovery Initiative should be submitted by August 15. The announcement of this round of grants will be made in October 2007; additional grants will be awarded in early 2008....
Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries

Four habits of highly effective academic librarians
Todd Gilman writes: “In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey argues that the most effective are those who have moved beyond both independence and dependence to master the art of interdependence—of working as members of a team, of knowing when two or more heads are better than one. In the spirit of Covey, then, I would like to offer my list of four traits that would not only make librarians more effective, but happier and more productive, too.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education, May 23

Chinese bookmarkBookmark of the week
British journalist Simon Quicke nominates an unusual or interesting bookmark each week in his Inside Books blog. He found his May 20 selection five years ago in a Chinese bookshop in Soho where there were “a large number of bookmarks using the sort of illustrations you expect to see on paper cuts from japan and China.”...
Inside Books blog, May 20

World Book in Mandarin Chinese
World Book announced May 17 the global launch of a Mandarin-language World Book Encyclopedia. The 20-volume edition, published by Hainan Publishing House, Haikou, China, is available to schools, libraries, and families in China as well as Mandarin speakers worldwide....
World Book, May 17

Teens talk about Second Life
In this YALSA podcast (25:20), Linda Braun and Kelly Czarnecki talk with two teens involved in Teen Second Life and the Teen Second Life Library Project. The podcast covers what teens are doing in Teen Second Life, how teens are involved in the Teen Second Life Library Project, and security and safety online for teens....
YALSA Podcast, no. 20

Google Trends logoGoogle Trends and Hot Trends
Google launched a new feature May 21 called Google Trends, which compares the world’s interest in your favorite topics (libraries, perhaps?). Enter up to five topics and see how often they’ve been searched for on Google over time. Google Trends also displays how frequently your topics have appeared in Google News stories, and which geographic regions have searched for them most often. With Hot Trends, you can see a snapshot of what’s on the public’s collective mind by viewing the fastest-rising searches for different points of time (be prepared to be stunned or incredulous)....
Google Trends

Energy-saving custom Google search
In January 2007, a blog post titled Black Google Would Save 750 Megawatt-hours a Year proposed the theory that a black version of the Google search engine would save a fair bit of energy due to its popularity. Blackle saves energy because the screen is predominantly black. You can set Blackle as your home page; this way every time you load your browser, you will save a little bit of energy....

Which wiki is right for you?
Shonda Brisco writes: “If you’ve never created a library web page (and don’t intend to start learning HTML code anytime soon), but want your library to have a web presence, maybe it’s time to consider a library wiki. As more educators and librarians collaborate in an online environment, wikis (which in Hawaiian means ‘quick’ or ‘very fast’) provide users with a tool that can be easily accessed, edited, and updated.”...
School Library Journal, May 1

Still from Allen County Public Library zombie videoFort Wayne library saves users from zombies
The Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, demonstrates how its alert readers’ services staff can thwart a zombie attack in this submission to the Thomson Gale Library Video contest. The film credits are listed here, and you can see some zombie stills on Flickr....
Allen County (Ind.) Public Library, May 18

Annual Conference 2007 logo

Preview abstracts of the poster sessions scheduled for ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

meebo logo

ALA has added a Meebo chat room to the Annual Conference wiki. You can start a conversation there and even add the room to your buddy list. Internet Development Specialist Jenny Levine plans to be in there during conference sessions to answer questions or talk with virtual attendees about what’s going on. Another Meebo room is available for general ALA discussions on the ALA Ning Members Network.

X-Men poster

Highlight your comic collection with the new X-Men poster. This popular comic series has inspired a series of films starring Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, and Halle Berry among many others. NEW! From ALA Graphics.

LITA National Forum in Denver logo

Join LITA in the “mile-high” city of Denver to celebrate 10 years of the LITA National Forum, October 4–7, Marriott City Center.

In this issue
May 2007

Current AL cover

Roger Mudd on the Love of Books

Bookstore Tourism

Gamers in the Library

Mattering in the School Blogosphere

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Branch Manager, San Antonio Public Library, Texas. Manage services in a branch library in one of San Antonio’s diverse neighborhoods; grow your leadership skills as the San Antonio Public Library grows. To schedule a preliminary interview at ALA Annual Conference, call 210-207-2635....

@ More jobs...

Grassroots image

Visit the Grassroots Advocacy webpage, which clearly lays out what online resources are available from the ALA Washington Office, along with some strategies for optimizing those resources.

RUSQ logo

Michele Hayslett writes about the Census Bureau’s State Data Network in Got Data? in the May issue of Reference and User Services Quarterly.

Email computer image

ALA offers a mailing list server that currently hosts hundreds of mailing lists. Some lists are for ALA members only; others are open to nonmembers as well.  As of April 25 we have completed the process of migrating our lists from an older mailing list software called Listproc to a newer, easier to use package called Sympa. 

To see currently available lists, go to and choose “Send me a password.” You will be prompted for an email address, which will only be used if you join a list, and your password will be sent to that address, as will all messages from the lists to which you subscribe. See the ALA mailing list page for more information.

Public Perception
How the World
Sees Us

“Here’s a small idea. Let’s post four lines by poet Richard Armour at our libraries. There’s hardly a more pithy expression of the purpose of libraries and the respect they’re due:

“Here is where people / One frequently finds, / Lower their voices / And raise their minds.

“Who knows if it will work. But it’s worth a try.”

—Associate Editor Paul Hyde in a column on “What’s Wrong with Our Noisy Libraries?” Greenville (S.C.) News, May 15.

Give ALA logo

A donation to the American Library Association is a gift to help strengthen public, school, academic, and special libraries across the country. We encourage you to become a part of the important role libraries play in our daily lives. Please consider making the most powerful gift you can make, an unrestricted gift.

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Ask the ALA Librarian

Medford branch of the Jackson County (Oreg.) Library, now closed

Q. The closing of the Jackson County (Oreg.) Library system is terrible! Where can I get information on library funding, particularly relating to local levies and the like? And where can I find information for local advocacy efforts?

A. Several offices at the American Library Association track library funding issues, both from a news perspective and from a trends perspective. American Libraries conducts a “referenda roundup” each fall, and posts it to the AL Online website as PDF documents. The most recent is the 2006 Roundup (PDF file). As part of general Advocacy efforts, the ALA Public Information Office compiles news reports of library funding impacts nationwide. And Denise Davis, Director of the ALA Office for Research and Statistics, has prepared “Funding Issues in U.S. Public Libraries, Fiscal Years 2003–2006” (PDF file). See the ALA Professional Tips wiki for further assistance.

The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.

Spectrum 10th anniversary logo

Don’t miss the culminating event of the Spectrum 10th Anniversary Celebration, the Spectrum Scholar 10th Anniversary luncheon, Sunday, June 24, 11 a.m.–1 p.m., at ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. Registration is available under Special Events / Meal Functions.



Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made Modern America. Sponsored by ALA’s Public Programs Office. Itinerary.

Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America’s Women Physicians. Sponsored by ALA’s Public Programs Office. Itinerary.

Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln’s Journey to Emancipation. Sponsored by ALA’s Public Programs Office. Itinerary.

Out at the Library: Celebrating the James C. Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center. Sponsored by the San Francisco Public Library. At the Minneapolis Public Library through June 30.

Jack Kerouac’s On the Road Scroll.
June 15–Sept. 14, at the Boott Cotton Mills Museum, Lowell, Massachusetts. Nov. 9–March 9, 2008, at the New York Public Library.

@ More...

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