California’s $14-million budget cut came as a surprise
Shortly after noon on August 24, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the FY2007–08 budget 52 days late, ending the state’s third-longest budget impasse in the past 30 years. In his successful attempt to achieve a “zero deficit” budget, the governor slashed two major library programs: the Public Library Foundation and the Transaction Based Reimbursement program, each reduced by $7 million. The cuts came as a complete surprise to county librarians, who were expecting a $1-million increase in the PLF fund that was recommended June 19 by the Budget Conference Committee, according to the California Library Association....
Bedford mayor nixes library outsourcing
The mayor of Bedford, Texas, cast the deciding 4–3 vote August 28 to keep city library services run locally and decline a bid by Germantown, Maryland–based management firm Library Systems and Services. Mayor Jim Story took the action despite having voted two weeks earlier to oust three library trustees for sparring publicly with their pro-outsourcing council liaison. Story also dismissed as a false economy the fact that LSSI’s bid was $500,000 less over the course of three years than the $764,626 proposal submitted by the library staff....
Indiana library recalls tainted summer reading toys
Greenwood (Ind.) Public Library has recalled 150 bendable toy dinosaurs it used as an incentive prize in its 2007 Summer Reading program. An August 27 announcement on the library’s website said that the lead content of the dinosaur was nearly double the acceptable level. The dinosaur was given to children from preschool through 5th grade; a separate group of toys given to babies and toddlers in the program had no problems....
ALA to participate in National Book Festival
ALA will highlight reading and libraries at the seventh annual National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress. Hosted by First Lady Laura Bush, book lovers will gather in the nation’s capital on September 29 to celebrate reading and lifelong literacy....
Final round of “Let’s Talk About It” grants
The ALA Public Programs Office and Nextbook, an organization dedicated to promoting Jewish culture, arts, and ideas, have announced a new round of grants for “Let’s Talk About It: Jewish Literature—Identity and Imagination,” a theme-based reading and discussion series. Over the past four years, more than 250 of these grants have been awarded to libraries in 43 states nationwide....
Encyclopedia of Globalization. Roland Robertson and Jan Aart Scholte, eds. Mar. 2007. 1,559p. Routledge (978-0-415-97314-4).
Globalization is a hot topic; a search for the term in the most recent 12 months of the New York Times found more than 260 articles. With the aim of “student and wider public education,” this encyclopedia supplies about 500 alphabetically arranged articles on a range of globalization issues. The diversity of entries demonstrates the commitment of editors Robertson (University of Aberdeen) and Scholte (University of Warwick) to follow “a plural approach.” Users can find articles on social and cultural issues (Dance, Gender, National identities); history (Cold war, Enlightenment, Labor movements); science and technology (Desertification, Internet, Nanotechnology); business, industry, and economics (Banking, Credit cards, Debt crisis, Markets, Mining industry); organizations (African Union, World Bank Group); and other topics (Law of Outer Space, Passports). Separate entries for countries and people are excluded. For these, readers need to use the cumulative indexes located at the back of each volume....
@ Visit Booklist Online for
other reviews and much more....
PLA conference registration opened September 5
Registration for the 12th National Conference of the Public Library Association opened on September 5. Popular events such as preconferences, tours, and author luncheons are expected to fill up quickly. The conference will be held March 25–29, 2008, in Minneapolis. A special earlybird rate is available for PLA and Minnesota Library Association members who register before January 18....
Award-winning authors to appear in Reno
The AASL 13th National Conference and Exhibition in Reno, Nevada, October 25–28, will feature several children’s and young adult authors. Author Track sessions include renowned writers Julie Anne Peters (right, author of Luna), Marilyn Reynolds (Detour for Emmy), Laura McGee Kvasnosky (the “Zelda and Ivy” stories), and Kathleen Duey (“The Unicorn’s Secret” series)....
Proposals for Teens and Technology Poster Session
The YALSA Technology for Young Adults Committee seeks presenters for the first-ever Teens and Technology Poster Session at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California, June 26–July 2, 2008. This poster session will highlight innovative library services and programs for teens that integrate technology in a way that is both effective and replicable at other libraries. The proposal deadline is October 1....
New IRRT blog
At the 2007 ALA Annual Conference, International Relations Round Table members decided to launch a blog to help implement the group’s strategic goals. The blog is now live with the objective to promote an interactive exchange of ideas and solutions to library issues of interest to librarians worldwide....
International Relations Round Table blog, Aug. 26
Gale to sponsor Mudge Award
Gale will sponsor the Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award, administered by RUSA.
The award of $5,000 and a citation recognizes distinguished contributions to reference librarianship. The honor is named for Isadore Gilbert Mudge, who was a reference librarian and bibliographer at Columbia University in New York....
2007 UNESCO-IRA Literacy Prize
The Community Education Administration Centre of Longsheng Autonomous County in Guangxi Autonomous Region, China, was awarded the $20,000 UNESCO International Reading Association Literacy Prize for 2007. The center serves a large ethnic population with a high illiteracy rate, especially among women....
International Reading Association
New Zealand librarians smock it to fashion designer
Christchurch, New Zealand, librarians have revived the 1960s floral smock as part of a backlash to fashion designer Paula Ryan’s offer of style advice to the profession. City librarians posted images of themselves proudly wearing their former uniform on the internet August 31 as debate raged in the profession over Ryan’s involvement. Librarians took offense at the offer of fashion advice from Ryan, who will host a 60-minute style workshop for the profession during the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa in Rotorua, September 9–12....
Christchurch (N.Z.) Press, Sept. 5
Drexel to transform Internet Public Library into learning lab
Drexel University is working with the University of Michigan and Florida State University to transform the Internet Public Library into a virtual teaching and learning laboratory for digital reference. The project will help librarians as well as LIS students keep up with the new developments in digital reference services. Users want to access information around the clock via handhelds, cell-phone text messaging, and online virtual environments....
Computerworld, Aug. 30
Happy Endings under review by Mississippi library
The Jackson-George Regional Library System in Pascagoula, Mississippi, has pulled a best-selling book by comedian Jim Norton from the shelves of its branches until the library director completes a review of its contents. Library system spokesman Rex Bridges said August 30 that a complaint about Happy Endings: The Tales of a Meaty-Breasted Zilch came through the Ocean Springs branch. But he did not specify what the complaint was....
Biloxi (Miss.) Sun Herald, Aug. 31
Multnomah Library a refuge for the homeless
The century-old Multnomah County Central Library is a refuge for homeless people, offering shelter from the rain, one of the few public toilets in downtown Portland, Oregon, and respite from the boredom endemic to street life. Many of the library’s most loyal users come here because, in a era of sharp cuts to social services, they have no other option. But many of them also bring serious behavior problems into the library. Security reports show that the problems persist in the face of increased efforts by the library system to address them....
Portland Oregonian, Aug. 30
Yale architecture dean to design Bush Library
Yale School of Architecture Dean Robert Stern will design the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. The President and First Lady Laura Bush made the decision after meeting with Stern August 23 at the Bush ranch in Crawford, Texas....
Yale Daily News, Aug. 31
Library thief chooses prison
A Camp Washington mother who used her young children to steal thousands of dollars worth of DVDs from the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County went to prison for a year August 30 after she failed to come up with a repayment plan. Judge Ethna Cooper had given Maria Daniels a choice—six months in prison and then probation, during which she’ll have to pay almost $17,000 restitution to the library—or a longer prison term. She returned to court with no cash....
Cincinnati Enquirer, Aug. 31
Guam LIS professor helps develop library on remote island
On Kapingamarangi, a remote Pohnpeian atoll deep in the Pacific, there’s no air conditioning, no TV, and no internet. That’s because there’s no electricity. To celebrate his 20th year as a library science professor at the University of Guam, Mark Goniwiecha spent five months of his sabbatical developing a library for the 600 residents (a third of whom are young students) of the atoll more than 1,000 miles southeast of Guam....
Pacific Daily News (Guam), Aug. 27
Lending Louisiana libraries a hand
Eagle Scouts are trained to give back to the community. Sometimes, it doesn’t have to be their own. The newest Eagle Scout from Troop 246 in Clifton Park, New York, 17-year-old Pierson Meierdiercks, traveled 1,269 miles to New Orleans to refurbish two Jefferson Parish branch libraries ravaged by flood waters in the wake of Hurricane Katrina....
Albany (N.Y.) Times-Union, Aug. 28
Shanghai’s “Library on a Lake” opens
A floating library opened to the public in Shanghai, China, August 28. The 8,000-square-meter Qingpu Library is built on scenic Lake Xiayang in the western district of Shanghai and features six reading rooms and energy-saving lightbulbs in every fixture....
Xinhua, Aug. 30
20 tools to get the junk off your PC
Preston Gralla writes: “Your PC is full of crud, junk, and gunk that harms performance, clogs up your hard disk, and makes system crashes more likely. Some of the junk came with your PC, but much of it has accumulated over time, as a result of installing and uninstalling programs, surfing the Web, and creating and saving files. Downloadable software can clean up your PC and give it a new lease on life. Check out these 20 files that will do the job—your PC will thank you for it.”...
PC World, Aug. 27
Direct brain-to-game interface worries scientists
Your brain might be your next videogame controller. That might sound pretty awesome, but the prospect of brain-controlled virtual joysticks has some scientists worried that games might end up controlling our brains. Several makers of brain-computer interfaces, or BCIs—devices that facilitate operating a computer by thought alone—claim the technology is poised to jump from the medical sector into the consumer gaming world in 2008. Companies including Emotiv Systems and NeuroSky say they’ve released BCI-based software-development kits....
Wired, Sept. 5
IRENE rescues lost sounds
Ancient voices and recorded snippets once thought to be irrecoverable have come back to life thanks to two new machines developed by scientists at the University of California’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The two technologies, IRENE—which stands for Image, Reconstruct, Erase, Noise, Etc.—and a new 3D scanner, enable researchers to rescue sounds stored in obsolete mediums used before the 1950s, such as shellac discs and wax cylinders, without mechanical contact. Two IRENE machines are currently in operation, one at the lab and a second at the Library of Congress....
Daily Californian, Aug. 30
Interoperability is a lie
Andrew Pace writes: “Interoperability is the biggest lie in automation today. The word is thrown around as easily and meaninglessly as ‘friend.’ Interoperable is, at best, an adjective for standards-based systems, and at worst, a hack to cover up the fact that different systems are not at all meant to speak to one another. The former case is so rare as to make it the exception; the latter case is perpetual job security for systems people.”...
Hectic Pace blog, Sept. 5
Enterprise open source
Karen Schneider writes: “The truly significant activity in LibraryLand technology hasn’t been vendor-driven. It has been the maturation of what I call ‘enterprise open source’: products such as Evergreen and Koha that are robust, well-implemented library automation packages with strong development communities and equally strong funded-support models. But even if you wouldn’t hire a programmer for your library—permanently or for a few hours—the ability to modify the software changes the balance of power. It says this is software of and by the people; it’s a statement about ownership.”...
ALA TechSource blog, Aug. 29
E-book sales are up
Quarterly sales of e-books in the United States have quadrupled since 2002, according to statistics collected by the International Digital Publishing Forum. However, the data represent only wholesale sales from 12–15 reporting publishers and do not take library sales into account....
International Digital Publishing Forum, July
Chicago reads The Crucible
The Crucible, Arthur Miller’s McCarthy-era depiction of the mass hysteria of the Salem witch trials, is the 13th selection for Chicago’s citywide book club, “One Book, One Chicago” (PDF file), Mayor Richard M. Daley announced August 30. The program began in the fall of 2001 to encourage Chicagoans to read the same book at the same time and discuss a great piece of literature with friends and neighbors. More than 2,000 English- and Spanish-language editions of The Crucible will be available at all 79 locations of the Chicago Public Library....
City of Chicago, Aug. 30
Libraries for the visually impaired: Funding and governance
A recent study by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions compared different approaches to the funding and governance of library and information services for visually impaired people and investigated the impact these factors had on outcomes. Among its recommendations: “Governments should understand that visually impaired people have specified rights to access the content of published information and that they pay taxes which in part support public library services. Together with other print-impaired readers they represent up to 20% of the population.”...
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, Aug. 14
Wish you were here, Mill Valley librarians!
As part of its summer program, the Mill Valley (Calif.) Public Library staff asked their younger readers (preschoolers through 12 years old) to send them postcards of the places they went on their summer vacation. The library received more than 50 postcards from kids who found themselves in far-flung places and missing the “best library in the whole world.” Web Librarian Michele Hampshire told American Libraries, “It’s interesting how eager the kids are to send their Library a postcard when they likely don’t even write to their grandparents!”...
Mill Valley (Calif.) Public Library
Demographics of the biblioblogosphere
Library bloggers are more likely to be women, 40 years old or younger, living in a large urban area in the Midwest or Northeast, who possess an MLS but no other advanced degree, and work in a medium or large academic or large public library—according to the results of a survey by Meredith Farkas....
Information Wants To Be Free blog, Sept. 4
Portsmouth library first in New Hampshire to go green
The new Portsmouth Public Library has become the first municipal building in New Hampshire to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, receiving a silver level for the sustainable building. The new $8-million green library, formally dedicated in January, is also the one of the first public buildings of any type in New England to receive certification from the U.S. Green Building Council....
Portsmouth (N.H.) Public Library, Sept. 4
Databases on alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs
Barbara Weiner of the Substance Abuse Librarians and Information Specialists association has compiled an annotated webliography of 80 databases and other online resources on substance abuse and treatment....
Substance Abuse Librarians and Information Specialists
Books Across America grants
The National Education Association Foundation is making grants of $1,000 to public schools serving economically disadvantaged students to purchase books for school libraries. The applicant must be a practicing preK–12 school librarian, teacher, or education-support professional in a U.S. public school. At least 70% of the students in the school must be eligible for the free or reduced-price lunch program. Deadline for applications is November 12....
Rare presidential footage revealed
Rare recordings and film footage of 12 presidents from Herbert Hoover through Bill Clinton are the grist of a 12-part series, “Presidential Libraries: History Uncovered” that debuts on C-SPAN September 7 and runs through November. C-SPAN and the National Archives collaborated to produce the series, which also will feature Lyndon B. Johnson speaking candidly about the Vietnam War and Harry Truman discussing the use of the atom bomb during World War II....
Politico, Sept. 4
Gallup Poll: Public worried about No Child Left Behind
Americans worry the No Child Left Behind Act is pushing art, science, health,
and social studies out of the classroom. According to this year’s Phi Delta Kappa Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward
the Public Schools, half of Americans surveyed believe that NCLB is limiting what children are taught, and for the first time since 2003, more Americans have an unfavorable view
(40%) of the program than a favorable one (31%)....
Phi Beta Kappa International, Aug. 27
Kentucky library attains pinup status
The Chronicle of Higher Education recently published its Almanac Issue 2007–8 that featured a familiar image to Kentuckians on its cover—the University of Kentucky’s William T. Young Library. The issue is the publication’s annual summary of the nation’s higher education system. Carol Diedrichs, dean of UK Libraries, said: “We have always felt that Young Library, both striking in appearance and home to a world-class collection and excellent services, is a landmark at the university.”...
University of Kentucky, Sept. 4
Partnership for 21st Century Skills gets new leadership
The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, a national advocacy organization focused on infusing 21st-century skills into education, announced its new board officers who were elected for the 2007-2008 academic year. AASL Executive Director Julie Walker was elected secretary....
Partnership for 21st Century Skills, Aug. 31
National Archives raises copying fees
A final rule published in the August 17 Federal Register amends the fees for reproduction of archival materials in National Archives facilities nationwide. In addition to federal records, this includes donated historical materials, presidential records, and records filed with the Office of the Federal Register. This rule will become effective October 1. This is the first fee increase in seven years....
National Archives and Records Administration, Aug. 23
Reading backwards through history: The 1990s
George Eberhart writes: “Like many people, I’m a bit obsessive about making lists. Some years ago, in a rare moment of spare time, I decided to create a list of the top news events for the past 100 years or so. Then in 2002, I decided to read a book about each event, in reverse chronological order. This seems like a good point to share the books I’ve finished so far (along with suggestions for films to watch as a supplement). Some books you may want to read; a few can be happily avoided.” This segment is on the 1990s....
Britannica Blog, Sept. 5
Library services to Burmese refugees (PDF file)
Yuriko Watanabe, librarian at the Tokyo Gakugei University Oizumi Junior High School, discussed her experiences in Burmese refugee camps in Thailand where a Japanese
organization, the Shanti Volunteers Association, has been providing library services. This paper was presented at the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions conference in Durban, South Africa....
IFLA Section on Library Services to Multicultural Populations, Aug. 15
Screaming in the library
The University of Texas Fine Arts Library hosted 150 new arts undergrads for a “Gone to Fine Arts” event August 28 shortly before the traditional UT “Gone to Texas” campuswide freshman welcome. Not only were the students provided with an introduction to key administrators, but they were also able to eat pizza, sing karaoke, and scream in the library—orchestrated by Fine Arts Librarian Laura Schwartz, who recorded the event for posterity in this YouTube video (2:30)....
YouTube, Aug. 30
Expanding on PLA’s highly effective Results Series, Jeanne Goodrich and Paula Singer offer colleagues a strategic approach to the human resources function in the library in Human Resources for Results. Packed with practical tools, this hands-on guide includes a familiar case study that illustrates how the information can be applied, along with 12 workforms to help you collect and organize the data you need to make informed HR decisions. NEW! From ALA Editions.
Libraries, schools, and individuals that would like to celebrate the freedom to read and help ALA get the word out on Banned Books Week 2007 (September 29–October 6) may freely save the web badge above and mount it on their sites. Visit the Banned Books Week site for instructions.
The First Amendment Needs New Clothes
Rethinking the Library Bill of Rights
What’s a Library Worth?
It’s Library Card Sign-Up Month (September). Download some short public-service announcements (MP3 files) and send them to radio stations in your community.
Digital Initiatives Librarian, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles. Responsible for building a comprehensive digital library program. Leads Digital Projects Team and manages projects. Identifies content and seeks new partners for digital initiatives. Designs and maintains web presence for the program. Performs usability studies....
Digital Library of the Week
Isaac Asimov (1920–1992) was one of the greatest science fiction writers of the 20th century. Many critics, scientists, and educators believe Asimov’s greatest talent was for popularizing or, as he called it, “translating” science for the lay reader. This online display features visuals and descriptions of some of the more than 600 books, games, audio recordings, videos, and wall charts included in the West Virginia University Libraries Asimov Collection. Digital photography and scanning was used to create images for the exhibit so that Asmovians throughout the world can appreciate the collection.
Do you know of a digital library collection that we can mention in this AL Direct feature? Tell us about it.
“Then I used the most valuable and unlauded investigative resource in the United States, the lowly reference librarian. Their salaries are wretched and they receive credit for nothing. Their desks are usually tucked away in the stacks or in a remote corner where they have to shush noisy high school students or put up with street people blowing wine in their faces or snoring in the stuffed chairs. But their ability to find obscure information is remarkable and they persevere like Spartans.”
Detective Dave Robicheaux, in post-Katrina New Orleans, makes use of a library, in James Lee Burke’s novel, The Tin Roof Blowdown (Simon & Schuster, 2007), p. 354.
LITA wants to create a new kind of technology conference within ALA. The division would like the conference to reflect what you find lacking in current ALA and non-ALA sponsored conferences. Take a brief survey and tell them how you feel.
the ALA Librarian
I couldn’t help one of our teen patrons download cheat codes onto his little videogame player and I can’t stop thinking about it. How can I find out more about videogames and all the different gaming devices?
A. The wireless internet access available in many public libraries has attracted not just laptop users but also gamers, including those using the Nintendo DS. The world of gaming can be a little overwhelming all at once so start slow: (1) Look through some of the gaming magazines during your next visit to a bookstore or drugstore. Some of them look (and are!) pretty intense and seem to talk in another language, but choose one that makes sense to you, one that is written clearly and directly, and covers all the different types of video games— handhelds, consoles, PC—such as GamePro or Game Informer. (2) Check to see if your cable company carries the video game cable channel, G4 TV. There are many shows, but I’d recommend starting off with X-Play, which humorously but knowingly reviews videogames. Even if you don’t have the channel, there are online video clips, podcasts, and e-newsletters available on the website. See our other references on Videogames, including information on the LibGaming Google Group. See the ALA Professional Tips wiki for more....
@ The ALA Librarian welcomes
International Reading Association, International Literacy Day, National Geographic Society, Washington, D.C. “Literacy, a Human Right.”
Urban Libraries Council, Audio Conference, 1:00–2:30 Eastern time. “E-Learning for Library Staff Development.” Register by Sept. 14.
National Information Standards Organization, Electronic Management Forum, Magnolia Hotel, Denver. “The What, Why, and How for Managing E-Resources.” Contact: Maryann Karinch, 970-577-8500.
National Friends of Libraries Week, Friends of Libraries U.S.A.
National Federation of Advanced Information Services, Humanities Roundtable, Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York City. Contact: Barbara Dobbs MacKenzie.
EDUCAUSE, Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. “Information Futures: Aligning Our Missions.” Contact: EDUCAUSE.
Oral History Association, Annual Meeting, Oakland, California. “The Revolutionary Ideal: Transforming Community through Oral History.”
Geoscience Information Society, Annual Meeting, Denver.
Northeast Document Conservation Center, Persistence of Memory Conference, Seattle. This conference addresses the question of digital longevity.
Modern Language Association, Annual Convention, Chicago. Contact: MLA.
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