The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | October 3,

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

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AL Buyers Guide

U.S. & World News

Jesus of Nazareth, by Pope Benedict, was not on the approved Catholic list issued by the Federal Bureau of PrisonsFederal prisons to return religious books
Following an outcry from civil libertarians and religious groups, the Federal Bureau of Prisons has authorized the return to chapel libraries of all appropriate religious materials that it had ordered removed as part of its new Standardized Chapel Library Project, an effort to restrict prison reading lists to 150 titles per denomination. In an email quoted by the September 26 New York Times, the bureau reported that the only exceptions would be “any publications that have been found to be inappropriate, such as material that could be radicalizing or incite violence.”...

University of Connecticut School of Law LibraryUConn okays $19 million to fix leaking law library
Trustees of the University of Connecticut in Hartford approved September 25 some $19 million to begin repairing the structurally unsound façade of the Law School Library in October, a sum that is $5 million less than the $24 million it cost to build the 11-year-old facility in the first place. The five-story, 125,000-square-foot library has been plagued with leaks from multiple sources since it opened, and the state attorney general is “aggressively trying to recoup the money from the primary construction company and architects,” Manager of Media Communications Karen Grava told American Libraries....

Happy Endings available on request in Mississippi
The board of Jackson-George Regional Library System, headquartered in Pascagoula, Mississippi, chose to return comedian Jim Norton’s Happy Endings: The Tales of a Meaty-Breasted Zilch to the collection at its September 25 meeting, but the book will not return to the shelves; instead, it will only be available upon patron request....

ALA News

Shakema Miller is a 2007 Spectrum Scholar and a student at Drexel University considering a career as a school media specialist or young adult librarian.Meet the 2007 Spectrum Scholars on Flickr
LIS students chosen for an ALA Spectrum Scholarship in 2007 tell why they wanted to become librarians in this set of Flickr photos. Gwendolyn Prellwitz, ALA Spectrum staff liaison says, “This is a truly great way to get to know the Spectrum Scholars and to see how they really are an amazingly diverse and passionate group of future librarians.”...

Screen shot of membership record for Jenny Levine in iMISWhat is iMIS?
Jenny Levine writes: “In your ALA experience, you may periodically hear someone reference something called ‘iMIS,’ and most likely they won’t define it. You can even look on the official list of ALA Acronyms and not find it listed there, mainly because it’s not a unit of the organization. What, then, is it? Basically, iMIS is our membership database, and it runs the day-to-day transactions of the Association.”...
ALA Marginalia blog, Sept. 27

AL Focus

Cultures of Africa gala held at Durban City Hall during the 73rd IFLA ConferenceIFLA Conference 2007, Durban, South Africa
This overview (5:14) of the 73rd International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions Conference in Durban, South Africa, highlights the event’s 2007 focus on indigenous knowledge and oral history, featuring interviews with IFLA and ALA leaders, snapshots of the programs, and glimpses of the local music and parties that made up the festivities. Join the 3,100 delegates from 116 nations to see how African libraries have changed since the end of apartheid in 1994....

Booklist Online logo

Cover of Encyclopedia of Activism and Social JusticeFeatured review: Reference
Anderson, Gary L., and Kathryn G. Herr, editors. Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice. June 2007. 1,712p. Sage, hardcover (978-1-4129-1812-1).

The same organizations, biographical subjects, and other topics can be found as entry headings in many reference sources. It is the context and the combinations, as well as the editorial focus, that give each source an intellectual flavor and afford it a place on library shelves. The Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice is a fine example of a work with a unique perspective. Every topic is viewed within the context “of both traditional and emerging forms of social, cultural, and aesthetic activism,” with social justice as an espoused goal. The editors make it clear that groups like the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis do not fit the criteria for inclusion because though they are activists, they lack the connection to social justice....

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

Division News

31 Flavorites poster from readergirlzCelebrate Teen Read Week with 31 Flavorites
YALSA and readergirlz, an online book community for young adults, have jointly launched 31 Flavorite Authors for Teens. Teen readers will have the opportunity to chat live with 31 popular, critically acclaimed authors—among them Nikki Grimes, Chris Crutcher, Sonya Sones, and John Green—every evening in October (5 p.m. Pacific, 8 p.m. Eastern). See the schedule and full list of authors on the readergirlz website....

PLA Leadership Institute
PLA and 3M will offer a special daylong preconference focused on developing leaders and creating transformational change agents within the library profession on March 25, preceding PLA’s 12th National Conference in Minneapolis. Participants will learn how to set a change strategy, how to handle various challenges and what innovations can be most productive in implementing, driving, and defining change....

Meg CabotMeg Cabot to keynote PLA luncheon
Meg Cabot, author of the popular The Princess Diaries series, will keynote the Preconference Luncheon at PLA’s 12th National Conference in Minneapolis, March 25. Tickets can be purchased online. Cabot is the author of more than 40 books for both adults and teens...

Spring Virtual Institute on management
ACRL and LAMA are accepting proposals for their Joint Spring Virtual Institute, “Leading from the Middle: Managing in All Directions,” that will take place April 29–30, 2008. The submission deadline is December 10. The institute will offer both synchronous and asynchronous sessions that will be archived for on-demand viewing....

ACRL Midwinter workshops
ACRL will offer three professional development workshops in conjunction with the 2008 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia on January 11. The topics include learning assessment, library orientation, and organization development....

ACRL forms positioning task force
ACRL has formed Positioning the 21st Century Library in the Competitive Academy: Why We Can’t Wait, a task force that will examine the place of academic libraries in the larger world of higher education. The group will identify ways that ACRL and its membership can maximize the position of libraries within the increasingly competitive academy....

ALSC institute on serving parenting teens
ALSC will offer a daylong pre-Midwinter Institute, “Teen Parents Raising Readers: Youth Services Staff Making It Happen,” on January 11, 2008, prior to the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. Presented by Saroj Ghoting and Maryann Mori, the institute is for those who need information on early childhood development and children’s materials or who are interested in developing programs for pregnant or parenting teens and their children....

Second annual Bookapalooza
ALSC is accepting applications through November 30 for its second Bookapalooza program. The division will select three libraries to receive a collection of children’s materials published in 2007 to be used in a way that creatively enhances each library’s service to children and families....

Social networking, one year later
A year ago YALSA launched the 30 Days of Positive Uses of Social Networking Project. Every day in October 2006, three YALSA bloggers posted ideas and information about using social networking in the school and public library. The postings were in response to the proposed Deleting Online Predators Act and the realization that librarians working with teens needed support and information on using social networking with teens. Now, one year later, the same YALSA bloggers are each going to write update posts in October about the world of social networking, teens, and other issues....
YALSA Blog, Oct. 1


Deadline extended for National Library Week grant
The deadline for the Scholastic Library Publishing National Library Week grant has been extended to October 15. Libraries of all types in the United States are invited to apply for a $5,000 grant that will be awarded to the best public awareness campaign that promotes the theme “Join the circle of knowledge @ your library” during National Library Week (April 13–19, 2008)....

YALSA grants and awards
More than $30,000 worth of grants and awards are available to YALSA members this year. The deadline to apply is December 1....

Dave IsayIsay receives Murrow Award
Dave Isay, founder of StoryCorps and its parent company Sound Portraits Productions, has received the 2007 Edward R. Murrow Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. StoryCorps, a national project to record American oral histories, airs on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition and is housed at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Since 1977, CPB has presented the Murrow Award to individuals who foster public radio’s quality and shape its direction....
Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Sept. 28

DROID logoUK Archives wins digital preservation award
The UK National Archives is celebrating its victory at the Conservation Awards 2007 after winning the award for digital preservation. Presented on September 27, the award recognizes leadership and practical advancement in the field of digital preservation. The Archives was cited for its work on active preservation through the development of two tools: the PRONOM Technical Registry and Digital Record Object Identification (DROID) file format identification....
National Archives, Sept. 28

Nominate a Leader in Learning
Cable’s Leaders in Learning Awards recognize outstanding educators, administrators, policymakers, and other community leaders at the forefront of innovation in education. Applications are being accepted online for individuals who are using new ideas and new technology to educate and prepare students from kindergarten through high school for the future. The application period closes January 16....
Cable in the Classroom, Sept. 12

AL Buyers Guide

Seen Online

Bush’s presidential-records order partially invalidated
A federal judge October 1 invalidated part of President Bush’s Executive Order 13233 (issued in November 2001) that gives former presidents and vice presidents the right to review executive records before they are made public under the Freedom of Information Act. U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled that the provision that blocks public access to the records while they are being reviewed by a former president was in violation of the Presidential Records Act because it eliminated the discretion of the Archivist of the United States. ALA President Loriene Roy said the “court has made it clear just how vital that information is to democracy.”...
Washington Post, Oct. 2

Congress and President approve College Cost Reduction Act
President Bush signed the College Cost Reduction Act, a bill that would ultimately make college more affordable for students, September 28. The bill will increase the maximum a student can gain from a Pell Grant by about $1,000 over the next five years. It also creates a new student loan forgiveness plan through the Direct Loan program for public service employees. Qualifying areas of employment include librarians....
Arkansas Traveller, Oct. 1; District Dispatch blog, Oct. 1

Network outage cuts access to San Jose libraries
A network power failure that occurred September 30 shut down public access to the San Jose (Calif.) Library System’s website, including all of its 17 branches and the Martin Luther King Jr. main library at San Jose State University. SJSU spokeswoman Pat Lopes Harris said the campus expected to have the system back in operation October 3. The library online catalog, circulation system, and online databases were also affected....
San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, Oct. 3

Judith Krug on Chicago TonightAnd Tango Makes Three on Chicago Tonight

Banned Books Week in Chicago (8:51 Windows Media Player file)
In Chicago, Banned Books Week kicked off September 29 with readings from books on the most-challenged list in Pioneer Court on Michigan Avenue. Office for Intellectual Freedom Director Judith Krug appeared on WTTW-TV’s Chicago Tonight September 25 to discuss the event and which books caused the most controversy....
WTTW-TV, Sept. 25

Cover of What's Happening to My Body? Book for GirlsThieves try do-it-yourself censorship
At the public library in Mount Vernon, Maine, someone waltzed off with the Kama Sutra. Copies of What’s Happening to My Body? have vanished from Penquis Valley Middle and High School library in Milo. Missing from the Lincoln Middle School library in Portland is a copy of It’s Perfectly Normal. Books on sex, paganism, witchcraft, and other potentially sensitive topics have a habit of disappearing from libraries....
Kennebec (Me.) Journal, Oct. 2

There, in the mirror—a book banner!
Carlin Romano writes: “Pardon me if I swing the camera this year and focus on another culprit in book banning. The mass media. Which books do they ban? Scholarly books in their book review pages. Virtually all of them. Just think how strange the situation is. We take pride in our children going as far as they can educationally. Some become doctors, lawyers, or professors, and write the most careful books they can manage. The mass media then ignore those books so they can devote the space to actress-ingenues attempting to complete a sentence.”...
Philadelphia Inquirer, Sept. 29

Ellen Middlebrook Herron. Photo by Boyd Guy, from Baptist PressRare books cataloger helps out New Orleans seminary
For nearly four months last spring, Chicago-based rare books expert Ellen Middlebrook Herron combed through the collection at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary’s John T. Christian Library. Herron discovered and cataloged a number of important early books and Bibles in the NOBTS library, including several 15th-century works from the earliest days of the printing press....
Baptist Press, Sept. 26

Chicago Public Library's Budlong Woods Branch, completed in 2003Mayor Daley wants tax hike for new libraries
Chicago Mayor Richard Daley defended a proposed property tax increase October 2, framing it as a way to operate the city’s libraries and continue the system’s modernization. The $108-million increase in the city’s levy is the biggest single potential money source among a list of revenue enhancements under consideration. “Libraries are extensions of the school system, of the learning environment,” Daley said. “If a society is going to do well, you put the money into education and you put money into libraries.”...
Chicago Tribune, Oct. 2

Supreme Court affirms Contra Costa’s library worship ban
By refusing to hear a church-state case from Contra Costa County, California, the U.S. Supreme Court October 1 allowed governments to block religious groups from using public libraries for prayer. The high court let stand a 2006 Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that Sacramento-based Faith Center Evangelistic Church Ministries cannot use public meeting rooms for prayer and Bible study in the county library’s Antioch branch. Freedom to Read Foundation counsel Theresa Chmara offers some guidance for libraries that may be reviewing their meeting room policies in the aftermath of this decision....
San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, Oct. 1; OIF blog, Oct. 2

Typing in two words correctly in this box helps Carnegie Mellon digitize its booksSpam weapon helps preserve books
A weapon used to fight spammers is now helping university researchers properly digitize old books and manuscripts. Many websites use an automated test to tell computers and humans apart when signing up to an account or logging in. Carnegie Mellon University is using this test, known as a CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart), so that humans can help decipher words that the university’s OCR scanner cannot identify....
BBC News, Oct. 2

The fire at the Duchess Anna Amalia Library, September 2, 2004, from a YouTube videoBooks return to Weimar library
Thousands of restored books returned October 1 to the shelves of a newly renovated historic library in eastern Germany that was gutted by a fire more than three years ago (right). The Duchess Anna Amalia Library in Weimar will reopen October 24 with a ceremony led by German President Horst Köhler, after several years of painstaking restoration and upgrading of the library’s $18.2-million security systems....
Associated Press, Oct. 1; Thüringische Landeszeitung, Oct. 1; YouTube

Italian police investigate book thief
An Italian man who sometimes disguised himself as a priest and even locked himself in a bathroom for a day managed to sneak away with dozens of 300-year-old books, drawings, and watercolors from top libraries and public archives in Rome, authorities said October 1. Italian police recovered dozens of items, worth at least €650,000 ($921,635 U.S.), including 17th-century diaries, drawings that chronicled life in Rome, scientific books, and watercolors dating from the 1700s in raids at the man’s home and storerooms....
Associated Press, Oct. 1

Proposed new Bodleian Library in OxfordNew Bodleian Library plans halted
Controversial plans for a new Bodleian Library in Oxford, England, are now on hold because critics say the new scheme will spoil the city’s world-famous skyline. Fourteen councillors have successfully petitioned for the plans to be debated at a meeting next month. The council’s planning team originally voted 6–5 on September 26 to approve plans for the new depository, which will house eight million books....
BBC News, Oct. 2

Tech Talk

Squidoo logoCreating Library 2.0 subject guides
Ellyssa Kroski writes: “The New Web has brought with it some amazing tools for creating online subject guides. These tools offer the addition of multimedia and multiformat elements such as photos, videos, social bookmarks, RSS feeds, and widgets to traditional resource guides, as well as an interactive dimension which makes them particularly 2.0. Here are a few tools for creating your own 2.0 guides.”...
iLibrarian blog, Oct. 1

Zotero logoThe Mark of Zotero
Scott McLemee writes: “Zotero is a tool for storing, retrieving, organizing, and annotating digital documents. It has been available for not quite a year. I started using it about six weeks ago, and am still learning some of the fine points, but feel sufficient enthusiasm about Zotero to recommend it to anyone doing research online. If very much of your work involves material from JSTOR, for example—or if you find it necessary to collect bibliographical references, or to locate web-based publications that you expect to cite in your own work—then Zotero is worth knowing how to use.”...
Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 26

RadLight 4 media player40+ media players that aren’t iTunes
iTunes is arguably the most popular media player for Mac and Windows, with a recent update for the iPhone, but is it the best? Check out the competition: 40 other popular media players, among them Amarok, Mplayer, Rhythmbox, Xine, Kantaris, jetAudio, Media Player Classic, RadLight (above), VidLizard, Winamp, and NicePlayer....
Mashable, Oct. 2

Graphic from Texas Tech 3D Animation LabTexas Tech library gets animated (subscription required)
The Texas Tech University library opened a 3D Animation Lab in September. The lab has eight high-performance Apple computers and a collection of industry-standard animation software. The computers have Vue Infinite for designing landscapes and animals, Poser for the human figure, AutoCAD for drafting and rendering, and several other packages....
Chronicle of Higher Education, Oct. 5

Where’s my free Wi-Fi?
Tim Wu writes: “In Houston, Chicago, St. Louis, and even San Francisco, once-promising projects to provide city-wide free wireless access are in trouble. What happened—was the idea all wrong? Not quite. The problem is that cities haven’t thought of the internet as a form of public infrastructure that—like subway lines, sewers, or roads—must be paid for. Instead, cities have labored under the illusion that, somehow, everything could be built easily and for free by private parties.”...
Slate, Sept. 27

Screenshot from Sony's Warhawk gameFive PC gaming myths
Jason Cross writes: “If you’re a long-time PC gamer, you’ve heard it all before. Your favorite gaming platform is dying, and it’s all about the consoles. After all, gaming on the PC is too expensive. It’s too complicated and unreliable. The sales just aren’t there. All the cool games are on consoles. Of course, PC enthusiasts know this isn’t true. Here, I present the five most common myths about PC gaming, and the actual truth you don’t hear about too often in the mainstream (and even gaming) press.”...
ExtremeTech, Sept. 25

AL Direct in the RansomizrWrite your own ransom notes
Kent Brewster has put together the Ransomizr, code that grabs a bunch of single-letter images from the One Letter Pool on Flickr, arranges them into an array, and waits for you to type something in the entry blank. The result looks just like an old-school ransom note, and may be copied and pasted into the page of your choice....
Kent Brewster

Actions & Answers

Still from PSA on Oz, created by the Geppetto GroupLC and Ad Council launch lifelong literacy campaign
The Advertising Council and the Library of Congress announced October 2 the launch of a new series of PSAs developed to inspire young people to explore new worlds through reading and to promote literacy in all types of learning, including books, periodicals, and cartoons. The PSAs—created pro bono by the Geppetto Group, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, and the Brigham Young University Ad Lab—are based on classical fiction books The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and the The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, as well as stories of King Arthur and the Round Table....
Ad Council, Oct. 2

Book challenges in Texas by type, 2006-07Book challenges in Texas
The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Texas released its 11th Annual Banned Books Report, titled Free People Read Freely (PDF file), September 29 as part of Banned Books Week. The report spotlights schools that banned books from library shelves or from classroom reading lists, but just as importantly, it highlights schools that decided to retain a book despite a challenge by a parent, a student, a school official, or a member of the public. It also contains an interview with writer and librarian Susan Patron....
ACLU of Texas, Oct. 1

A brief history of Anglo-American cataloging codes
The Joint Steering Committee for the Development of RDA offers an outline history of cataloging rules, from Sir Anthony Panizzi’s British Museum code (published in 1841) to the 2002 revision of AACR2. The history includes 26 bibliographic references and links to such source documents as the prefaces to various editions of AACR2....
Joint Steering Committee for the Development of RDA, Sept. 28

Opening words from Charles Ammi Cutter's 1883 paperCutter on “The Buffalo Public Library in 1983”
Steve Lawson says that although Boston Athenaeum Librarian Charles Ammi Cutter foresaw e-books and library networks in this paper (“The Buffalo Public Library in 1983”) presented at ALA Annual Conference in 1883, “I found some of Cutter’s blind spots and apparent enthusiasms that haven’t aged as well to be more interesting”—such as “Every one must be admitted into the delivery-room, but from the reading-rooms the great unwashed are shut out altogether or put in rooms by themselves. Luckily public opinion sustains us thoroughly in their exclusion or seclusion.”...
See Also... blog, Sept. 25

Library blog survey: Commentary and list
Meredith Farkas editorializes on her survey of popular sites in the biblioblogosphere: “As I had predicted, the top 10 list is a good bit different from the top 10 list on the OEDB site. The three blogs with the most Bloglines subscribers (, The Shifted Librarian, and Library Stuff) are not the top 3 favorite blogs, though they are not surprisingly in the top 10. Seeing which blog is #1 (and that it wasn’t even all that close) tells me that a cynical view of the profession speaks to a lot of people. But with only 218 participants, this can by no means be considered a representative sample.”...
Information Wants to Be Free blog, Sept. 30

Lectorum logoSpanish-language New York bookshop closes
Although Librería Lectorum, one of the oldest Spanish-language bookstores in New York, closed its doors September 30, it will shift the focus of its consumer business to internet sales through its bilingual website. Lectorum Publications, a subsidiary of Scholastic, is already an industry leader in Spanish-language sales to schools, libraries, and college bookstores. To preserve the bookstore’s tradition, Lectorum plans to host author and other literary events for tri-state area customers at Scholastic’s global headquarters and the Scholastic Store in SoHo, New York....
Scholastic, Sept. 6; New York Times, Sept. 24

If you aren’t scared, you aren’t paying attention
Karen Schneider philosophizes about blogging, branding, digital rights, Google, metadata, and the One True Catalog in her final post for the ALA TechSource blog: “Choices, choices. The sand runs quickly through the hourglass. What are we willing to give up to move forward? Who do we break bread with? Can we be tough customers? Can we make hard decisions? How do we sail out to sea?”...
ALA TechSource blog, Sept. 30

Oh well, I wasn't using my civil liberties anyway satirical posterWhy do Microsoft, AOL, and Yahoo support the National ID card?
Michael Arrington writes: “The Real ID Act of 2005 is a $17-billion privacy and civil rights nightmare that requires all 50 states to issue standardized ID and drivers license cards. Luckily, it has been stuck in bureaucratic limbo. Congress mandated the cards, passed off the strategy to Homeland Security and stuck the states with the tab for actually paying for all of this. So why are large technology organizations calling for the government to push the program forward? Probably because they stand to gain a lot of money from lucrative government contracts.”...
TechCrunch blog, Sept. 28

ARSL logoARSL to collaborate with WebJunction
The Association of Rural and Small Libraries is working with WebJunction to share best practices, research, ideas, and discussion on issues most relevant to rural and small libraries. The partnership was announced September 26 during the ARSL Conference in Columbus, Ohio. The new online community combines content from the former ARSL website with the training, materials, and community participation of library staff at WebJunction....
OCLC, Sept. 27

Boston Library Consortium goes with OCA
The Boston Library Consortium announced September 24 that it will partner with the Open Content Alliance to build a freely accessible library of digital materials from all 19 member institutions. The BLC is the first large-scale consortium to embark on such a self-funded digitization project with the Open Content Alliance. The BLC’s digitization efforts will be based in a new scanning center, the Northeast Regional Scanning Center, at the Boston Public Library....
Boston Library Consortium, Sept. 24

Google Books new home pageGoogle Books redesign
Philipp Lenssen writes: “The Google Book Search homepage just received a redesign. It now looks more like bookshelf than straightforward search engine; instead of the typical Google logo + input box, you’ll see a couple of preselected covers as images, making for a more explorative approach.” The cover selections are divided into the different categories “interesting,” “classics,” “highly cited,” and “random subject.”...
Google Blogoscoped blog, Sept. 26

Yahoo Search just got smarter
Yahoo added some major features to its search engine October 1. Erik Schonfeld explains: “A search for a major rock band like U2 brings up information from the artists’ website, along with a list of songs that can be played as 30-second audio streams (courtesy of Yahoo Music). Do a search for a restaurant or hotel, and results from Yahoo Local come out on top, with links to maps, ratings, and reviews. But the most important feature is an Ajax assistant pane that drops down when it detects you are hesitating while typing in a search term.”...
TechCrunch blog, Oct. 1

MediaScrape offers breaking news, such as this video on Bangladeshi proposals to improve democracyMediaScrape offers world news videos
MediaScrape, the “Internet TV News Network,” is integrating with Google Maps to help users find breaking news videos from around the world. MediaScrape is a Google NewsMap that partners directly with broadcast news outlets such as the BBC, CBC, Asia News International, and 25 other outlets and has the ability to play some 35,000 news clips from its vast database. To get started, click on a region to see news clips plotted to a Google Map based on their specific location....
Google Maps Mania blog, Sept. 25

WNBA logoOctober is National Reading Group Month
The Women’s National Book Association has designated October as National Reading Group Month to mark the 90th anniversary of the organization’s founding. WNBA hopes to bring about public awareness of the joy of shared reading and encourage libraries, bookstores, and other organizations to host special events for reading groups....
Women’s National Book Association, Oct. 1

Sputnik graphicHistory and the Headlines: Sputnik
Fifty years ago the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, igniting the space race. History educators can give students an in-depth look at the impact that the launch had on the United States and the Soviet Union, with ABC-CLIO’s “History and the Headlines: Sputnik Escalates the Cold War.” Developed in partnership with The History Channel and National History Day, the site includes primary sources, video clips, expert analysis, and engaging activities to help students explore the conflict that held the world in its grip for nearly 50 years. The free collection will be available until Dec. 1....
ABC-CLIO, Oct. 3

"Leopard," from a Bestiary owned by the  British Library, Record number 007355, Sloan 3544Cataloging illuminated manuscripts
Meredith E. Torre, LIS student at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, discusses the challenges of using the Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, and Early Modern Manuscripts rules (a 2003 supplement to AACR2) to catalog and classify pre-modern manuscripts, adding that “Cataloging of these works is further complicated by an ongoing dilemma between simple and complex cataloging, and an underappreciation of the need to treat illuminations as separate areas of content within themselves.”...
Library Student Journal 2 (Sept. 2007)

Urban Dictionary defines “librarian”
Urban Dictionary, an online user-written slang dictionary that’s been online since 2001, has nine different definitions for the word “librarian,” including: “A person who is so anal that they have sought a job to define their compulsive tendencies. Librarians often bait people into their dens by offering information or entertainment, usually of the wholesome kind.” (Some are even less complimentary.) The dictionary also has 16 definitions for “library.” Users can vote thumbs up or down for each definition....
Urban Dictionary

Still from Short Pencil Saga, showing Nick Baker and Katie FlemingThe Short Pencil Saga
Nick (“March of the Librarians”) Baker created this short (2:29) video last spring that tells the story of where all those short pencils in the Williams College library came from, using archival footage from the Prelinger Archives, including Redwood Saga and Working Together. “It all began thousands of years ago.”...

Postal card from Martinez Library noting the effetcs of the 1906 San Francisco earthquakeEarthquake damages San Francisco library (1906)
Postal librariana collector Larry Nix writes: “This postal card was used by the California State Library to collect news items for its magazine. It is postmarked May 5, 1906. The Martinez Free Reading Room and Library responded with a note that reads in part: ‘The earthquake of the 18th [April 18, 1906] damaged our building so that it is unfit for use until repaired which will mean we shall have to remain closed six weeks or two months. Damage about $1,500.’ This card is an example of a library-sized postal card, printed in the exact size of a catalog card and issued by the Post Office Department in response to lobbying by Melvil Dewey.”...
Library History Buff

An Otis College art student selects a fine-arts book for scanning on the library's scannerWelcome to the Millard Sheets Library
The Millard Sheets Library at the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles produced this humorous introductory video tour (5:32) of its services. It features real, live art students and the librarians that serve them, with a voiceover by Shelley Forbes, circulation manager...

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ALA 2008 Midwinter Meeting, January 11–16, Philadelphia.

Cover of Intellectual Property

Against the rapidly changing background of the information landscape, copyright expert Timothy Wherry takes a grounded look at intellectual property issues and provides the perspective and tools necessary to benefit patrons and staff of all libraries. NEW! From ALA Editions.

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In this issue
October 2007

Cover of October 2007 issue of AL

Teens and the New Literacy

Reference on the Fringe

Libraries and Charter Schools

Condoms @ your library

Libraries in the Ugandan Wild

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Chief of Public Services, Chattahoochee Valley Regional Library System, Columbus, Georgia. A new position responsible for managing the main library and facilitating the work of eight branches and two bookmobiles. The candidate will have the experience and skills to make the library more relevant now and in the future....

@ More jobs...

Take Action logo

Help remove the hold on the Presidential Records Reform bill in the Senate. The Presidential Records Act Amendments bill, H.R.1255, is currently being prevented from a vote in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY). He has not stated his reasons for doing so. H.R.1255 removes restrictions placed by President Bush’s 2001 Executive Order 13233 and enhances the Presidential Records Act, one of the nation’s most important open-government laws. A briefing paper on the bill is available on the National Coalition for History website.

Digital Library of the Week

Portrait of the spirit Katie King, from The proof palpable of immortality; being an account of the materialization phenomena of modern spiritualism. With remarks on the relations of the facts to theology, morals, and religion. By Epes Sargent. Boston: Colby & Rich, 1876.

The University of Michigan’s Making of America site is a digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction. The collection is particularly strong in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. The collection currently contains approximately 10,000 books and 50,000 journal articles with 19th-century imprints. The initial phase of the project, begun in the fall of 1995, focused on developing a collaborative effort between the University of Michigan and Cornell University.

Scientific American front page, Feb. 19, 1859

Cornell also hosts a Making of America site, which contains a nice run of 22 journals, including Scientific American from 1846 to 1869 and Harper’s New Monthly Magazine from 1850 to 1899. The collection is made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Do you know of a digital library collection that we can mention in this AL Direct feature? Tell us about it.

Public Perception
How the World
Sees Us

Don’t join the book burners. Don’t think you’re going to conceal faults by concealing evidence that they ever existed. Don’t be afraid to go in your library and read every book, as long as any document does not offend
[y]our own ideas of decency. That should be the only censorship. . . .
    “We have got to fight [communism] with something better, not try to conceal the thinking of our own people. They are part of America. And even if they think ideas that are contrary to ours, their right to say them, their right to record them, and their right to have them at places where they’re accessible to others is unquestioned, or it’s not America.”

—President Dwight D. Eisenhower, from a commencement address at Dartmouth College, June 14, 1953.

Cover of September 2007 C&RL News

Alessia Zanin-Yost, reference librarian at Western Carolina University, has a roundup of Visual Literacy Resources on the Web in the September issue of College & Research Libraries News.

Ask the ALA Librarian

Library symbol

Q. Our community doesn’t have a library symbol street sign for the library. How do we get one?

A. There’s historical information about the National Library Symbol and the Library Symbol Highway Sign at ALA Library Fact Sheet 30: National Library Symbol/Library Symbol Highway Sign. However, to actually request a library symbol street sign for your public library for placement within your community or neighborhood, you must contact your own state’s department of transportation for instructions and criteria. See the list of state department of transportation websites at the website of the Federal Highway Administration. In Illinois, the request must include the location of the library, the proposed intersection the signs are being requested for, the number of hours the library is open during the week, and the name and phone number of a contact person. See the ALA Professional Tips wiki for more....

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.

LITA logo

LITA Standards Coordinator Diane Hilman has put together a Standards Watch wiki that intends to keep an eye on standards (such as RFID, SKOS, OpenURL, and RDA) of interest to LITA members. Contact Diane if you would like to contribute.


Calls for papers:

By Oct. 15:
The North American Serials Interest Group seeks papers for its annual conference to be held June 5–8, 2008, in Phoenix, Arizona.

By Oct. 30:
The Ohio Digital Commons for Education 2008 Conference seeks presentations, preconference workshops, and technology demonstrations for the conference to be held March 2–4, 2008, in Columbus.

By Oct. 31:
The Alabama Library Association seeks program proposals for its annual conference to be held Apr. 22–25, 2008, in Birmingham.

By Nov. 1:
The Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association seeks presenters for its conference to be held Mar. 19–22, 2008, in San Francisco.

By Nov. 1:
Electronic Resources and Libraries
seeks proposals for its conference to be held Mar. 19–21, 2008, in Atlanta.

By Nov. 2: International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions Public Libraries, Children and Young Adult Libraries, and Management and Marketing Sections Satellite Meeting, seeks papers for an Aug. 5–7, 2008, event at McGill University in Montreal.

By Nov. 16:
LOEX 2008 seeks proposals for breakout and interactive sessions at its conference to be held May 1–3, 2008, in Oak Brook, Illinois.

By Nov. 31:
The American Society for Information Science and Technology seeks research papers to be presented at its Information Architecture Summit to be held April 12–14, 2008, in Miami. Proposals for presentations, panels, posters, and management track or preconference workshops are also accepted with a deadline of October 31.

By Dec. 15:
Canadian Association for Conservation of Cultural Property seeks abstracts for papers, posters, and videos for its annual conference to be held May 30–June 1, 2008, in Montreal.

By Jan. 7:
The RUSA Research and Statistics Committee seeks papers for its 14th Reference Research Forum at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California. Contact: Anne C. Moore.

@ More...

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