The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | October 10,

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

SirsiDynix ad

AL Buyers Guide

U.S. & World News

Supreme Court won’t hear meeting room appeal
The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals opinion in the case of Faith Center Church Evangelistic Ministries v. Glover. The decision affirms that the Antioch branch of Contra Costa County (Calif.) Library acted properly in denying a church the use of its meeting rooms for religious worship services. The justices denied the appeal without comment on October 1, the first day of their 2007–08 term....

Alvin Sherman Library, Nova Southeastern UniversityFlorida tax rollback clips library services statewide
Broward County Library officials and decision makers at Nova Southeastern University’s Davie campus have settled a protracted dispute over how much BCL should contribute to the FY2008 operating budget of the joint-use Alvin Sherman Library, Research, and Information Technology Center. NSU has agreed to BCL’s proposal to slash 9%, or $716,000, of the $5.5 million anticipated for this fiscal year in accordance with the 9% cutback forced on the entire library system by the state legislature’s June tax reform mandate....

Judge Colleen Kollar-KotellyJudge: Bush out of line on presidential records release
A federal judge October 1 invalidated part of President Bush’s Executive Order 13233, which gives former presidents, their heirs, and former vice presidents the right to review executive records indefinitely before they are made public under the Freedom of Information Act. U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled that the provision was in violation of the 1978 Presidential Records Act because it eliminated the discretion that the law gave to the Archivist of the United States, who is legally empowered to release documents to the public....

Martin Luther King Jr Library, San Jose. Photo by Peter BouryPower failure unplugs San Jose library’s automated services
San Jose (Calif.) Public Library, whose main Martin Luther King Jr. facility doubles as the San Jose State University library, suffered a network power failure that crashed its website September 30. Public access was restored the evening of October 3. During the outage, users could not use the library’s online catalog or other databases, and could not track due dates or renew materials through their personal accounts....

ALA News

Baseball Hall of Famers (L-R) Robin Roberts, Phil Niekro, and Ozzie Smith select Hannah Cavanaugh of St. Louis, as the grand-prize recipient to conclude ALA and the Hall of Fame's Step Up to the Plate @ your library program. The drawing was held at historic Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, N.Y., on Saturday, October 6. Photo courtesy of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and MuseumMissouri student wins in “Step Up to the Plate” drawing
In a random drawing at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum October 6, Hall of Famer and “Step Up to the Plate” spokesperson Ozzie Smith chose Hannah Cavanaugh, 12, as the grand-prize winner of the “Step Up to the Plate @ your library” program. Cavanaugh, who volunteers at the Kirkwood (Mo.) Public Library, will travel to Cooperstown, New York, to attend the Hall of Fame’s World Series Gala on October 27....

Mark BardWashington Office’s Mark Bard
On Monday evening, October 1, ALA Washington Office Technology Policy Analyst Mark Bard was seriously injured when struck by a drunk driver near his home. Mark is currently in critical condition at the Washington Hospital Center. Updates will be posted on the District Dispatch blog....
District Dispatch blog, Oct. 4

ALA-APA Salary Survey 2007Analyze some data and get a free Salary Survey
The ALA-Allied Professional Association will give up to five people or institutions a free copy of the 2007 ALA-APA Salary Survey—Librarian: Public and Academic ($70 value) or 2007 ALA-APA Salary Survey—Non-MLS: Public and Academic ($100 value) in exchange for analyzing data and submitting a research paper on a topic of national interest, which may then be published in the ALA-APA newsletter Library Worklife: HR E-News for Today’s Leaders....
ALA-Allied Professional Association, Oct. 9

CPLA logoTwelve CPLA candidates and one course approved
The Certified Public Library Administrator Program Certification Review Committee approved 12 new candidates and one more program course at its 2007 Fall review. CPLA now has 87 candidates representing public libraries of all sizes across the nation. The CPLA program is a voluntary post-MLS certification program for public librarians with three years or more of supervisory experience and ALA-accredited master’s degrees in library and information studies....
ALA-Allied Professional Association, Oct. 9

Two advocacy programs available at Midwinter
Get the tools to become an effective library advocate by taking advantage of the two advocacy programs offered during the ALA 2008 Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia—an Advocacy Institute on January 11, and a Train the Trainer program January 12....

Kathryn Beam, curator of the humanities collection, University of Michigan Special Collections, is showing a 2nd edition of Tyndale's English translation of the New Testament. The 1st edition (1525/26) of 3,000 copies has only 2 copies left; all the others were destroyed during the early 1500s. The one Michigan has is the second printing of 1536, actually a second edition because Tyndale revised the translation quite a bit before he was arrested and burned at the stake.Hatcher reads banned books
Staff at the University of Michigan’s Hatcher Graduate Library celebrated Banned Books Week with a Flickr extravaganza, featuring the many controversial and suppressed books in the library’s collections. As they say, “The freedom to make your own decisions about what you want to read, and to have access to these items, are rights that libraries fully support.”...
University of Michigan Hatcher Graduate Library

AL Focus

Author Carolyn Meckler at the Chicago Banned Books Week Read-OutBanned Books Week Read-Out
This report (2:21) from the Banned Books Read-Out, held September 29 in Chicago, features ALA President Loriene Roy and Judith Krug from the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom speaking on the importance of choosing your own reading material, and authors Carolyn Mackler and Chris Crutcher on how librarians “save our lives daily.”...

Sri Lanka Library Association helps libraries and their users cope with the 2004 tsunami disasterSri Lanka rises from the rubble
Exclusive to American Libraries Focus, this video (14:07) produced by the Sri Lanka Library Association details the recovery effort following the disastrous tsunami of December 26, 2004, which left 50,000 dead, thousands missing, and millions homeless. Using powerful still photographs and video clips, this overview illustrates the fundraising, renovation, refurbishing, staff training, collection development, and programming that made up SLLA’s Tsunami Library Rehabilitation Project....

Rod Hersberger and Marilyn  Hinshaw on ALA financesHersberger and Hinshaw on ALA finances
ALA Treasurer Rod Hersberger and Marilyn Hinshaw, chair of the ALA Budget Analysis and Review Committee, sit down for a chat (11:59) with Director of Membership Development John Chrastka. Hersberger offers a glimpse of his plans for the Treasurer’s Online Forum and talks about bringing ALA financial information to the members in a timely fashion, while Hinshaw speaks on the complexities and responsibilities of BARC....

Booklist Online logo

Cover of Custer's Brother's HorseFeatured review: Adult books
Shrake, Edwin. Custer’s Brother’s Horse. Oct. 2007. 320p. John M. Hardy, hardcover (978-0-9717667-8-5).
Texas-centric Shrake offers a smart, lusty, and captivating high adventure whose potent blend of history, humor, and derring-do makes all but the very best westerns seem listless and one-sided. At the end of the Civil War, three unlikely companions—a haunted and defeated Rebel returning home, a mixed-race New Orleans fortune-teller, and a British adventurer and romancer (in both senses of the word)—flee a detachment of Union troops led by the less-famous but equally imposing Custer brother. Their crimes hold varying degrees of validity, but most of the conflict centers on a bitter family feud and the Englishman’s repeated attempts to steal—or as he would have it, reappropriate—Tom Custer’s magnificent warhorse....

Cover of Blue HeavenKeir Graff interviews C. J. Box
Since 2001, when his Joe Pickett mystery series debuted with Open Season, C. J. Box has earned accolades and fans in ever-growing numbers. It takes guts to tinker with a successful formula, but the Wyoming native has done just that. In January, St. Martin’s Minotaur will publish Blue Heaven, his first stand-alone thriller. In this interview, Box explains why he wrote Blue Heaven, affirmed that “Blue Heaven” actually exists, and proved he has a gift for sports prognostication, too....

Likely Stories blog, Oct. 5

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

Philadelphia Update

Midwinter wiki launched
The 2008 Midwinter wiki is up and ready for you to consult and/or add information to. Space has been created for divisions, round tables, and offices to share information about meetings, committees, discussions, institutes, parties, and other events....

19th century trade catalog of the Charles H. White Furniture and Upholstery BazaarVisit the Philadelphia Athenaeum
The Athenaeum of Philadelphia is a member-supported, not-for-profit, special collections library founded in 1814 to collect materials “connected with the history and antiquities of America, and the useful arts, and generally to disseminate useful knowledge” for public benefit. Major collections include trade catalogs, interior design, architecture and building technology, pre-1914 periodicals, and transportation. The library is a resource of first resort on matters of architecture and interior design history from 1800 to 1945....

Division News

AASL conference logoThe future of your school library begins in Reno
The largest gathering of school librarians in the nation is taking place at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno, Nevada, October 25–28, for the AASL 13th National Conference and Exhibition, themed “The Future Begins @ your library.” More than 4,000 school librarians, educators, publishers, and guests will gather to discuss such key issues as new technologies; “No Child Left Behind” and how the legislation impacts school libraries; and information literacy....

Passport to Prizes lineup
AASL will once again hold its popular Passport to Prizes exhibits game for attendees at the 13th National Conference and Exhibition, October 25–28, in Reno. All conferees will receive a game card, or “Passport,” in their conference bag at registration and everyone is welcome to participate. Completed passports will enter in a drawing for prizes....

ABDO Publishing logoABDO to sponsor Celebrate Conference session in Reno
ABDO Publishing Group will sponsor the Celebrate Conference session at the AASL conference in Reno. Celebrate Conference, a welcome and orientation for first-time attendees, will be held October 25, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center....

LITA Forum logoTechnology with altitude: The LITA Forum
Andrew Pace writes: “The LITA Forum is one of the best conferences for IT networking that I know of. Long breaks and a diverse crowd of administrators, managers, techies, and newbies make it a great setting. And for those who can’t be there, almost every session is covered by an army of volunteer bloggers at the LITA blog.” And view some photos on Flickr....
Hectic Pace, Oct. 6

Teens choose the winners during Teen Read Week
YALSA invites all teens to get out the vote for Teen Read Week, October 14–20. Teens can vote for their favorite books in the annual Teens’ Top Ten poll or vote for next year’s Teen Read Week theme. Teens’ Top Ten, an initiative of YALSA’s Young Adult Galley project, is a “teen choice” list—the only reading list with titles nominated and voted on by teens....

Children’s librarians enter the blogosphere
ALSC has launched a blog that provides a venue for coverage and interactive discussion of time-sensitive news about children’s librarianship; current issues in the field; and programs, conferences, initiatives, resources, and activities of interest to ALSC members and those interested in children’s librarianship. The division has selected Teresa Walls, librarian at Allen County (Ind.) Public Library, as blog manager....

ALSC sponsors two ALA Emerging Leaders
ALSC is sponsoring two new librarians for ALA’s Emerging Leaders program: Patricia Tarango of Los Angeles, and Jessica Trujillo of New Brunswick, New Jersey. The ALA Emerging Leaders Program enables 120 new librarians to get on the fast track to ALA and professional leadership. Tarango and Trujillo will attend day-long workshops at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia in January and Annual Conference in Anaheim in June....

Round Table News

GODORT logo50 state agency databases
The Government Documents Round Table maintains a list of agency databases for all 50 states and the District of Columbia on its wiki. The databases contain useful information on businesses, licensed professionals, plots of land, and even dates of fish stocking. This is a wiki, so if you don’t see something on a list that should be there, feel free to add it as long as the resource is meant to be available to the public and is produced by a government entity in the listed state....


Spectrum Scholarship winners announced
The ALA Office of Diversity has announced the 10th cohort of Spectrum Scholarships. (See their photos on Flickr.) The Spectrum Scholarship Program’s major drive is to recruit applicants and award scholarships to American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students for graduate programs in library and information studies....

New PLA award recognizes innovation in library services
PLA is now accepting applications for the Polaris Innovation in Technology John Iliff award. PLA members can nominate their colleagues and libraries for this new award through an online application. The award seeks to encourage innovative user-oriented thinking and practical solutions using old and new technologies. The deadline is December 3....

Bogle Pratt International Travel Fund
ALA is accepting nominations for the 2007 Bogle Pratt International Travel Fund, sponsored by the Bogle Memorial Fund and the Pratt Institute School of Information and Library Science. The $1,000 award is given to an ALA member to attend his or her first international conference. The deadline is January 1....

John Ames Humphry/OCLC/Forest Press Award
The John Ames Humphry/OCLC/Forest Press Award for International Librarianship is given to a librarian or person who has made significant contributions to international librarianship. The award consists of a $1,000 prize and a certificate, which is presented at the ALA Annual Conference. The deadline for nominations is January 1....

LAMA seeks nominations for division awards
LAMA is seeking nominations for its 2008 Recognition of Group Achievement Award, Leadership Award, and President’s Award. The deadline for nominations and supporting materials is December 2....

Fayetteville Public Library Youth Services Librarian Jenine Lillian joins the audience in a standing ovation at the Teen Fashion ShowFayetteville teen fashion show wins VOYA Most Valuable Program (PDF file)
One year ago at Fayetteville (Ark.) Public Library, teen designers created one-of-a-kind outfits and accessories out of everyday materials to show off at their very own fashion show for teens during Teen Read Week. Teens formulated their own individual designs and crafted them mostly by themselves. More than 30 junior high to college-aged teens were all part of the project. This year, they received the Most Valuable Program award for 2006....
Voice of Youth Advocates, Oct., pp. 301–304

Civic Park Community School, Flint, MichiganFlint school wins library makeover contest
Civic Park Community School in Flint, Michigan, is the grand prize winner of the 2007 Literacy for Life Reading Is Fundamental Site Library Makeover Contest. In an online vote, the school was selected by more than 11,000 site visitors for excelling in providing outstanding reading opportunities to the children in its community. Civic Park Community School will receive a $5,000 cash prize toward the renovation or creation of their library and $10,000 in books from Scholastic....
Reading Is Fundamental, Oct. 3

My Lucky Star coverThurber Prize for American Humor
Emmy winner and former Frasier Executive Producer Joe Keenan won the 2007 Thurber Prize for American Humor for his novel My Lucky Star. The announcement was made October 2 at the Algonquin Hotel in New York City. The two runners-up for the Thurber Prize were Bob Newhart for I Shouldn’t Even Be Doing This! And Other Things That Strike Me As Funny, and Merrill Markoe for Walking in Circles before Lying Down....
Thurber House, Oct. 2

Cover of A Game for DancersDe la Torre Bueno Prize
The Society of Dance History Scholars awards the de la Torre Bueno Prize annually to a book published in the English language that advances the field of dance studies. This year’s winner is Gay Morris, independent scholar and critic in New York City, for A Game for Dancers: Performing Modernism in the Postwar Years, 1945-1960, published by Wesleyan University Press in 2006....
Wesleyan University Press, Oct. 4

Rock bands get loud in LancasterLancaster wins Love Libraries Award
Lancaster (UK) Library has won the Love Libraries Award 2007, fending off tough competition from four rivals in a public vote. The Love Libraries Award, run by the UK Museums, Libraries, and Archives Council, celebrates the work library services do to inspire teenagers and young people under the age of 25. Lancaster Library is breathing new life into the service, with some of the latest bands performing exclusive gigs in the library and bringing in diverse crowds....
Museums, Libraries, and Archives Council, Oct. 3

AL Buyers Guide

Seen Online

Cover of NCES report, Problem Solving in Technology-Rich Environments: A Report From the NAEP Technology-Based Assessment ProjectFeds tout computerized tests for 21st-century skills
A federal report funded by the National Center for Education Statistics says computer-based testing holds promise for measuring higher-order thinking skills that cannot be measured easily via traditional pencil-and-paper exams—a finding that is sure to resonate with advocates of teaching 21st-century skills in classrooms. The report is based on a study of how more than 2,000 8th-grade students from U.S. public schools performed in one of two computer-based testing scenarios administered in 2003: a search scenario and a simulation scenario....
eSchool News, Oct. 3

Vancouver library workers reject mediator’s offer
Striking library workers in Vancouver, British Columbia, rejected a deal October 9 from mediator Brian Foley. The biggest thumbs-down came from Local 391, with more than 78% of library workers saying no. The sticking point seems to be a financial one. For CUPE 391’s Alex Youngberg, the buzz words are “pay equity.” Outside workers rejected the deal by 58%, although inside workers accepted it by 73%. But Youngberg said they are close to an agreement and has called for talks to resume with the Vancouver Public Library....

CXWX-AM radio news, Oct. 10; 24 Hours (Vancouver), Oct. 10

Victoria labor dispute ramps up
Greater Victoria (B.C.) Public Library branches went down to core services October 10 as striking library workers ramped up job action in a bid to get back to the bargaining table. Extra programs offered by the library, such as literacy programs for adults and children, children’s story time, and seniors’ computer classes, were cancelled. The eight branches shut down for five hours October 9 to allow workers to attend a library board meeting....
Victoria (B.C.) Times Colonist, Oct. 9

Reading Room at the expanded Indianapolis Central LibraryRenovated Indianapolis library to reopen December 9
Two years overdue and $50 million over budget, the expanded downtown Indianapolis–Marion County Public Library will soon reopen its doors. A special dedication ceremony December 9 will include a symbolic unlocking of the gates at the south entrance of the renovated 1917 Paul Philippe Cret building, and library staff will lead patrons on a tour of the newly expanded 293,000-square-foot facility....
Indianapolis Star, Oct. 6

Jackson County libraries begin opening October 24
Closed indefinitely six months ago, libraries in Medford and Ashland, Oregon, will open their doors again to the public October 24, and the remaining 13 branches will start the following week. Maryland-based Library Systems and Services LLC, which was chosen by Jackson County commissioners to run the operation of the libraries, announced the reopening dates October 8 and released proposed branch hours....
Medford (Oreg.) Mail Tribune, Oct. 9

Cover of Tripping Over the Lunch Lady and Other StoriesMilitary parents want book banned
A military parent with children in York County, Virginia, schools is fighting to have a book banned from the library of Magruder Elementary School in Williamsburg. Cyndi Treiber said the book of short stories contains inappropriate and offensive material for children connected to the military. The book, Tripping Over the Lunch Lady and Other Short Stories, an anthology of 10 short stories edited by Nancy E. Mercado, caused outrage and bewilderment among some local parents in the military because of its graphic references to war, bombs, and casualties in one chapter....
Newport News (Va.) Daily Press, Oct. 5

New postal rates affect global book drives
Cleo Lampos has a classroom full of books. She had planned to ship her materials—accumulated from 26 years of teaching—to a school library housed in a mud hut with a tin roof in rural Malawi. Over the last six years, the 4th-grade teacher from Oak Lawn, Illinois, has sent hundreds of books to that school, where 30 students share one English-language textbook, the internet doesn’t exist, and electricity is a part-time service. But last spring, the U.S. Postal Service eliminated some of its international boat mail services, which included an option to send books for a dollar a pound to any country....
Chicago Tribune, Oct. 10

John WatersStaff Development Day with John Waters
John Waters, the Baltimore-born-and-raised filmmaker known for directing such movies as the classic Hairspray, told Enoch Pratt Free Library staff members at their annual Staff Development Day October 8 about the impact the library had on him as both a child and a professional, and how important a role libraries can play in the lives of children. Director Carla Hayden liked Waters’s suggestion that librarians create temporary tattoos of authors’ faces to encourage youngsters to read....
Baltimore Sun, Oct. 9

Bookmobiles’ final chapter?
It used to be that crowds in Beverly, Massachusetts, awaited Linda Caravaggio and her big shiny bus. Rumbling along a leafy circuit through the town, stopping at a preschool here, a retirement home there, she would be greeted like a returning hero or Santa Claus. Everyone, it seemed, was happy to see her. But that was 20 years ago. The bus is now a ragged shadow of itself, with malfunctioning heaters, a rheumatic suspension, and an engine that huffs gray smoke whenever it is coaxed to speeds over 40 miles per hour....
Boston Globe, Oct. 4

Stacey Birch, Stanley Correctional Institution librarian“So you want to become a prison librarian?”
That’s the name of a presentation by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, which is trying to spark interest in the career. “It’s a different group, but they have the same interests as people at any city library,” said Stanley (Wis.) Correctional Institution Librarian Stacey Birch. “It’s amazing how many of them have never stepped into a library and are scared to come in,” she says. “I try to make it a little less scary.”...
WEAU-TV, Eau Claire, Wis., Oct. 4

Former LAMA President Joseph Kimbrough dies
Joseph Kimbrough, 1973–74 president of the Library Administration and Management Association, passed away on August 15. He was 77 years old. Kimbrough served as director of the Minneapolis Public Library from 1975 to 1989....
Minneapolis Star Tribune, Aug. 17

Library branch opens in Ninth Ward
On October 5, the Martin Luther King Jr. branch reopened in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward more than two years after it was destroyed during Hurricane Katrina. The library is inside the renovated Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School for Science and Technology....
New Orleans Times-Picayune, Oct. 6

Illustration from Lydia Child's An Appeal in Favor of that Class of Americans Called AfricanCollege wins auction for rare abolitionist book
Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, purchased a rare abolitionist book for its upcoming exhibit about the end of the slave trade at the Bethlehem Area Public Library’s book sale in late September. The book is actually two books that someone had bound together: a first edition of Lydia Maria Child’s 1833 An Appeal in Favor of that Class of Americans Called African, and an 1840 second edition of The Slave: Memoirs of Archy Moore. Lafayette has a special connection to the abolitionist movement because it educated former slaves in the 1840s....
Allentown (Pa.) Morning Call, Oct. 3

Tech Talk

Google Street View of ALA Headquarters at 40 E. Huron St., ChicagoGoogle Maps Street View in six new cities
Google Maps has added its Street View feature to six new cities: Chicago (see ALA Headquarters on the right), Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland (Oreg.), and Tucson. As an added bonus, the images in Phoenix, Tucson, and parts of Chicago are all in high resolution. In most of these cities, you can also pan up to the top of skyscrapers. Check out this view of the Sears Tower and watch a dizzying and amusing YouTube video (1:21) that demonstrates the new city views....
Google Lat Long blog, Oct. 9; YouTube, Oct. 9

JumpChart logoSite design for dummies
Rafe Needleman writes: “If you’re building or rebuilding a website, there are several advanced and complex tools that can help you prototype your new product. There are also a few newer products that capture the basics of design and let you share it with others—and that barely require more than a few functioning neurons to use. At the most basic, there’s the site tree builder WriteMaps; then there’s Jumpchart, which makes it very easy to prototype the navigation and basic elements of a site.”...
Webware, Oct. 9

Wi-Fi T-shirtT-shirt shows off Wi-Fi strength
The Wi-Fi Detector Shirt, sold by ThinkGeek, has glowing bars on the front that light up in waves when there’s an IEEE 802.11b or 802.11g network in range. As with a network strength indicator on a cell phone or PC, more bars light up as the signal gets stronger. A cartoon of a classic radio tower and the simple expression “802.11” say it all for people who are looking for this kind of thing....
PC World, Oct. 7

Doctoral student Brandi House uses Vocal Joystick to control the movement of a robotic arm. The screen on the lower right shows how the software analyzes her vocalizations to create instructions for the arm's movement. Photo: University of WashingtonVocal Joystick lets your voice surf the Web
A team at the University of Washington is helping physically challenged individuals navigate online by developing software that can convert your voice into cursor commands. Notably, the Vocal Joystick doesn’t rely on any speech-recognition technology; instead, it “detects [vowel] sounds 100 times a second and instantaneously turns that sound into movement on the screen.” You can then move the mouse around the screen and click on links by simply making a variety of noises, and the cursor speeds up as you get louder. Watch a demo here....
Engadget, Oct. 10; University of Washington, Oct. 8

Vista Service Pack 1You need Vista SP1
Ever since Microsoft released Vista—nearly nine months ago—and people have been tallying up problems such as security holes and sluggish operations, we’ve all been awaiting Service Pack 1. Now that it’s here, albeit in beta form, PC Magazine gives you a walk-through that lays out what’s improved, from enhanced security to improved media features. The verdict: You need Vista SP1....
PC Magazine, Oct. 5

Australian page-bots
Plans to replace library shelvers with robots at two Sydney universities could adversely affect the service to students, union chiefs fear. The National Tertiary Education Union said Macquarie University and the University of Technology Sydney risked losing the human touch by introducing drones to retrieve books. The drones would resemble computerized cranes with robotic arms to collect volumes from storage....
Sydney Morning Herald, Oct. 7

Logitech MX Air mouseLogitech air mouse or lazy Hogwarts wand?
You could feel like Harry Potter testing out the Logitech MX Air optical mouse. It tracks normally on the surface, nothing new there except the touch-buttons (back, volume, play/pause—all light up when used) are in the middle of the unit. Once you lift the mouse into the air, you’ll feel like a wizard in training with your first power-packing wand. Wave the mouse in any direction, pressing buttons to navigate. Like any student at Hogwarts, you
ll need practice to get used to it (keep your expectations to about 30 feet), but at worst, youll turn on the TV instead of your computer....
Popgadget, Oct. 10; C|Net review

Actions & Answers

Philip Bourne on making good oral presentations (from the video)Ten rules for making good oral presentations
Philip E. Bourne, editor of PLoS Computational Biology, offers some advice on what it takes to make a good oral presentation. In addition to reading the rules, you can listen to him make his points in a 10-minute video. As he says, “Presentations encourage broader dissemination of your work and highlight work that may not receive attention in written form.”...
SciVee, Sept. 27

National Literacy Summit 3 logoVerizon National Literacy Summit 3 webcast
The Verizon Foundation is holding its third annual literacy summit on October 15, 1:00–5:00 p.m. Eastern time, at Georgetown University; it will be simultaneously webcast. Cosponsored by ALA and other literacy interest groups, the summit will demonstrate how technology drives the definition of literacy and learning. Keynote speaker is journalist and author Fareed Zakaria, who will speak on “Competitive Learning in a Global Economy.” Registration is required....
Verizon Foundation

The fate of small literary journals
Karen Schneider writes: “Full-text databases are marvelous, even indispensable research tools, but they are not an acceptable substitute for print literary journals. An issue of a journal is its own special experience, from its cover to its fonts to the arrangement of its pieces, with the editors’ loving attention to pull quotes, widow lines, and the like. To take a print object and make a digital copy is to create a surrogate object of the original, not to duplicate it with fidelity. Sometimes I think we librarians are so busy doing scholarly communication and gaming and blogging that we forget some basic stuff.”...
Free Range Librarian, Oct. 7

Screen shot from Carnegie Mellon's I'll Get It gameCarnegie Mellon Library’s information games
Paul Waelchli writes: “Daniel Hood, an Information Literacy Fellow, and a small group of librarians worked with a graduate class from Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center to develop and create two mini-information games. ‘I’ll Get It,’ where you play as Max, a student helping other students answer reference questions on a variety of subjects; and ‘Within Range,’ where Max needs to put the books back on the shelving cart in the correct LC order.”...
Research Quest blog, Sept. 27

The Really Modern Library project
The Institute for the Future of the Book and the Digital Library Federation are collaborating in an effort “to stimulate new thinking about mass digitization and, through the generation of inspiring new designs, interfaces, and conceptual models, to spur innovation in publishing, media, libraries, academia, and the arts.” Termed The Really Modern Library, the project is planning three invitation-only brainstorming sessions on how best to “transfer the vast wealth of analog culture to the digital domain.”...
if:book blog, Oct. 8

For Dummies man says "4 libraries will win!"Calling all dummies (PDF file)
Publisher John Wiley and Sons is holding another For Dummies Library Display contest. Libraries can participate between January 17 and March 31, 2008, by building a yellow-and-black Dummies branded display. Request a Dummies start-up kit from Wiley by February 15. The grand prize winner will receive 50 books of their choice in the For Dummies series and a staff pizza party. View last year’s winners for inspiration....
John Wiley

PoliticalBase logoPolticalBase star logoA new Wikipedia for politics
Declan McCullagh writes: “A website launched October 9 plans to become a kind of Wikipedia-like destination specializing in elections, governments, and political candidates. The idea behind is to provide a neutral, one-stop source of information about politics (and politicians) to which anyone can contribute. Changes must be approved by a staff editor before they take effect.” Separate databases include fundraising, people, issues, elections, and governments (state and county). Gary Price reminds us not to forget Congresspedia....
C|Net, Oct. 9; ResourceShelf, Oct. 9

Ennobling biscuit shop in Zhuhai, China. Photo by Gordon FlaggGordon Flagg in China
American Libraries Managing Editor Gordon Flagg is on sabbatical for a few months while he teaches English language and American culture classes at the Zhuhai campus of Jilin University in Guangdong province, China. Gordon has started a blog to record his adventures, post some photos, and comment on Chinese music, food, and media....
Gordon in China blog

Frontispiece in Phillis Wheatley's book, showing the author writingPhillis Wheatley goes digital
The University of South Carolina has acquired a first edition of Phillis Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (London, 1773), the first book published by an African-American author, and has made it available online and fully searchable. The Thomas Cooper Library’s copy is the first of Wheatley’s Poems on record for any library in South Carolina. This freely accessible facsimile is provided as both a research tool and a resource for teachers and students worldwide....
University of South Carolina, Oct. 4

Abused workers fight back by slacking off
Employees toiling under an abusive supervisor often rebel quietly and indirectly by slacking off on the job and handing in sloppy work. Researchers at Florida State University surveyed more than 180 employees from a wide variety of professions, asking whether they had endured a history of abuse from their bosses, then asking a slew of workplace performance questions....
LiveScience, Oct. 8

Canadian Library MonthIt’s Canadian Library Month...
Librarian and Archivist of Canada Ian E. Wilson writes: “Canadian Library Month is a celebration of libraries and the people who work in them. Libraries play a key role in the social, cultural, and economic life of communities, providing residents with a place to read, learn, and share.” The theme is “Libraries: The World at Your Fingertips.”...
Canadian Library Association

National Medical Librarians Month poster showing Ben Franklin and the words "Looking for Answers?"...and National Medical Librarians Month!
The Medical Library Association created the National Medical Librarians Month observance to raise awareness of the important role of the health information professional. Patients and those in the health care community need the specialized services that medical librarians provide, now more than ever before. This year’s theme is “Looking for Answers? @sk Your Medical Librarian.”...
Medical Library Association

Tech Soup ad

ALA Midwinter 2008 logo

Provided by the ALA Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment, the Placement Services Center will be available during the Midwinter Meeting to assist job seekers and employers, as well as provide career assistance.

Born to Read toddler T-shirt

Inspire early literacy with the popular Born to Read line of toddler T-shirts. This fresh new design will inspire early reading in your community. NEW! From ALA Graphics.

ALA-APA Salary Survey

2007 library salary surveys from the ALA Allied Professional Association are available either by online subscription or in print. Analysis of data from more than 800 public and academic libraries showed the mean salary for librarians with ALA-accredited master’s degrees reported increased 2.8% from 2006.

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

Research Librarian for Performing Arts, University of California at Irvine, to plan and deliver innovative reference and instruction services, and to develop and manage excellent electronic and print collections in Music, Dance, and Drama.

@ More jobs...

Professional Development notice

Digital Library of the Week

Red Pepper: A Spicy Rag, by Henry Lodge, sheet music published by M. Witmark & Sons, 1910

The University of Colorado at Boulder Music Library has a large sheet music collection with approximately 150,000 items including examples from the late 18th through the 20th centuries. This website provides access to digital versions of some of the categories of sheet music within the physical collections. The sheet music digitized and presented here was originally published between 1890 and 1922. Users may browse by title or title cover graphic. A grant from the Collaborative Digitization Program provided partial funding for the digitization of the sheet music for this site.

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

Lawyer Patty Hewes (Glenn Close): “I’ve a lot of questions.”
     Opposing lawyer Ray Fiske (Zeljko Ivanek): “That’s what Wikipedia’s for.”

—TV attorney banter in the FX Network drama Damages, “Sort of Like a Family” episode, that aired Oct. 2.

Libraries Connect Communities cover

Discover the state of funding and technology in U.S. public libraries. The study, Libraries Connect Communities: Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study 2006–2007 Report, is available for browsing or downloading (whole or in part).

Ask the ALA Librarian

A staff development session, courtesy of Michael Stephens

Q. We’re unable to provide a full-fledged Staff Development Day to our staff this year. Are there any staff development courses that can be taken online, that I can suggest?

A. There are several opportunities available in online library staff development and instruction. Consider the growing number of online courses offered by ALA’s divisions, including YALSA Professional Development Online, ACRL E-Learning, E-Learning @ PLA, and RUSA Professional Development Online. More general courses, including Office Productivity spreadsheet and word processing courses, Computer Professional programming and web design and development courses, and Business Fundamentals leadership courses, are available as a benefit of ALA membership via Element K. See the Where to find CE for your staff and Staff Development pages to learn of more opportunities. As a last resort, you can send in John Waters. See the ALA Professional Tips wiki for more....

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.

Cover of new Library Technology Reports

Social software, more ubiquitous than ever, continues to have a profound impact on information and communication in the Information Age. In the Sept./Oct. 2007 issue of Library Technology Reports, librarian and educator Michael Stephens revisits some of the social tools presented in Web 2.0 & Libraries: Best Practices for Social Software, addresses some trends guiding social technology in libraries, takes a look at some newer tools, and covers some best practices for using 2.0 tools in your library.


Oct. 24–26:

Michigan Association for Media in Education,
Annual Conference, Grand Traverse Resort & Spa, Acme. “School Library 2.0.”

Oct. 25–26:
Academic Library Association of Ohio,
Annual Conference, Greater Columbus Convention Center. “Innovation Generation.”

Oct. 26:
Northwest Government Information Network,
Annual Meeting, Highline Community College, Des Moines, Wash.

Oct. 29–30:
Internet@Schools West,
Monterey, California.

Oct. 29–31:
Internet Librarian 2007,
Monterey, California. “2.0: Info Pros, Library Communities, and Web Tools.”

Nov. 1–3:
From Gray Areas to Green Areas: Developing Sustainable Practices in Preservation Environments,
a symposium hosted by the Kilgarlin Center for Preservation of the Cultural Record, University of Texas, Austin. Contact: Karen L. Pavelka, 512-471-8286.

Nov. 2–3:
Ohio-Kentucky- Indiana Children’s Literature Conference,
Aurora, Indiana.

Nov. 2–4:
United States Board on Books for Young People,
Regional Conference, Westward Look Resort, Tucson, Arizona. “Children Between Worlds: Intercultural Relations in Books for Children and Young Adults.”

Nov. 6–8:
KMWorld and Intranets 2007,
San Jose. “KM 2.0: A New World for the Enterprise.”

Nov. 7–10:
Charleston Conference,
Charleston, South Carolina. “What Tangled Webs We Weave.”

Nov. 7–10:
Museum Computer Network,
Annual Conference, Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza. “Building Content, Building Community: 40 Years of Museum Information and Technology.”

Nov. 8–11:
International Reading Association,
Plains Regional Conference, Overland Park, Kansas.

Nov. 12–18:
Children’s Book Week,
sponsored by the Children’s Book Council.

Nov. 14–16:
New Jersey Association of School Librarians,
Annual Conference, Ocean Place Resort and Spa, Long Branch. “Celebrate Culture, Customs and Traditions: at your School Library.”

Nov. 15–16:
International Reading Association,
Southwest Regional Conference, Little Rock, Arkansas.

Nov. 15–18:
California School Library Association,
Annual Conference, Ontario, California. “California School Libraries Build Readers.”

Nov. 24–
Dec. 2:

Guadalajara (Mexico) International Book Fair.
ALA personal members can participate in the ALA Free Pass Program, offering $100 for airfare, 3 hotel nights, and complimentary registration; apply by August 17 to Delin Guerra, 800-545-2433 ext. 3201.

Nov. 28–29:
Persistence of Memory: Stewardship of Digital Assets,

@ More...

Contact Us
American Libraries Direct

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