The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | September 12,

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

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U.S. & World News

Extract from an NSLNSL secrecy provisions ruled unconstitutional
A provision of the USA Patriot Act allowing the FBI to issue National Security Letters without court approval was deemed by a federal judge September 6 to violate the First Amendment. NSLs, which have been used to demand private information from libraries, telephone companies, internet service providers, and other data-gathering bodies, have been under scrutiny since a March internal FBI report detailing improper and illegal use by the Justice Department....

California school librarian testifies on Elementary and Secondary Education Act
Mary K. Poeck, coordinator of library media services for the Jesse Bethel High School in Vallejo, California, testified (PDF file) on September 10 concerning the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the importance of having a highly qualified school library media specialist in every school. Poeck’s testimony spoke to the vital role of the school library in education and the need for legislation like the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLs) Act....

School board blinks in library funding showdown
The Kanawha County (W.Va.) school board narrowly approved September 4 the restoration of $2.3 million from its FY2007–08 state revenues to the Kanawha County Public Library in a 3–2 decision that overruled school Superintendent Ron Duerring’s unilateral decision a month earlier to keep all the money for public school needs. “I think mostly we’re relieved,” remarked KCPL Director Alan Engelbert after learning that he was not about to lose one-third of his budget after all....

Students in the Gail Borden Public Library speak live to Clay Anderson on the International Space Station Illinois library connects kids with Space Station
Gail Borden Public Library in Elgin, Illinois, made interstellar history September 5 when it became the first public library to host a live conversation (WMV file) with an astronaut aboard the International Space Station. At 1:38 p.m. Central time, the voice of astronaut Clay Anderson traveled from 200 miles above the Earth to answer questions from students ranging in level from 2nd grade to high school....

Saugus ekes out return to full-time hours
The Saugus (Mass.) Public Library expanded its hours to 50.4 per week effective September 4, just in time to avoid repaying a $1.1-million grant to the state. Interim Library Director Ewa Jankowska, who replaced Mary Rose Quinn after she resigned unexpectedly August 9, has worked out a staffing schedule for the expanded hours, but at that rate her money will run out at the end of February....

Marguerite deAngeli Main Branch, Lapeer (Mich.) District LibraryLapeer branches rebound after millage approved at last
After nine months of severely reduced service caused by budget shortfalls that stemmed from the failure of two millage increases in 2006, Lapeer (Mich.) District Library reopened its five closed branches September 4. Voters had been warned that a third defeat would have forced officials to close the remaining three libraries in 2008....

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ALA News

Take Action logoOnly two weeks left to save school libraries
All librarians and library advocates are asked to contact their Representatives to ensure the inclusion of the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLs) Act in the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act on September 24. This is the single most important piece of legislation concerning school libraries that will come before Congress this year. Visit the Legislative Action Center for the most recent information on bill sponsors and to contact your Representative....
District Dispatch blog, Sept. 11

Cover of Libraries Connect Communities reportStudy: Public library internet use flourishes, but funding lags
Ever-growing patron demand for computer and internet services in public libraries has stretched existing internet bandwidth, computer availability, and building infrastructure to capacity, according to a new study, Libraries Connect Communities: Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study 2006–2007, conducted by ALA and the Information Use Management and Policy Institute at Florida State University. The study found that more than 73% of libraries are the only source of free public access to computers and the internet in their communities. Listen to an audio interview (MP3 file) summarizing the survey, featuring ALA Project Manager Larra Clark and American Libraries Associate Editor Pamela Goodes....

FOLUSA logoALTA logoALTA and Friends of Libraries USA to combine forces
Effective September 12, ALA and Friends of Libraries USA have agreed that FOLUSA will provide executive management for ALA’s Association of Library Trustees and Advocates division for a period of 12 months, with the expectation that FOLUSA and ALTA will seek to combine into an expanded division of the ALA on August 31, 2008....

Loriene Roy on net neutrality
Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division filed comments calling upon the FCC to carefully consider the possible effects of regulating the internet. ALA implores the FCC to ensure that producers and consumers of information are able to access and provide services on the internet free from discriminatory practices, to ensure network neutrality....

Kansas State Library to host Rural Broadband Summit
On September 18, 2007, the State Library of Kansas in Manhattan will host a summit on rural broadband, co-sponsored by ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy and featuring several ALA members. The goal of the event—“A Whole New Mind: Providing Accessible Broadband Internet for Kansas”—is “to encourage communities to establish strategies for broadband access and to propose actions or policies at the state level to support these community strategies.”...

Jose AponteAponte to run for Spectrum
San Diego County (Calif.) Library Director José Aponte will run in the Chicago Marathon to raise awareness and funds for the ALA Spectrum Scholarship Program. The 26.2-mile race will take place on October 4. Aponte is a formerly ranked national duathlete and continues to participate in endurance sports, most recently completing the Barcelona Marathon in March. Join Aponte and his family in contributing to the Spectrum Scholarship, by sending a check or pledge to ALA Spectrum....

Created Equal grant logoWe the People Bookshelf: Created Equal grants
The Public Programs Office is partnering with the National Endowment for the Humanities for the fifth “We the People” Bookshelf project. This year’s theme is “Created Equal.” Public and school (K–12) libraries are invited to apply online from September 10 through January 25. In spring 2008, NEH and ALA will select 3,000 libraries to receive the “Created Equal” Bookshelf. Those selected will be required to use the Bookshelf selections in programs for young readers in their communities....

AL Focus

Still of author Mary Monroe from BCALA conference video6th National Conference of African American Librarians
This glimpse (2:18) into the Black Caucus of the American Library Association’s 6th National Conference of African American Librarians, held August 2–5, features the opening of the Fort Worth Public Library’s Akwaaba exhibit (consisting of original works created or owned by Texas librarians); words from speaker Harry Robinson Jr., author Mary Monroe (above), and FWPL’s Gleniece Robinson; and a peek at the “A Night at the Stockyards” President’s Banquet....

Keith Curry Lance speaks on school library dataAASL’s School Libraries Count! survey
Keith Curry Lance (right), former director of Colorado’s Library Research Service, speaks about the AASL School Libraries Count! survey, to be presented officially at the AASL Conference in Reno in October. Lance discusses (2:10) the importance of gathering accurate data on school libraries, survey fatigue, and the average copyright date for health and medicine info in school libraries. (Hint: It’s older than most of the kids.)...

Booklist Online logo

Cover of Richard Russo's Bridge of SighsFeatured review: Adult books
Russo, Richard. Bridge of Sighs. Oct. 2007. 544p. Knopf, hardcover (978-0-375-41495-4).
Here is the novel Russo was born to write. Coursing with humor and humanity, the sixth novel by the bard of Main Street U.S.A. gives full expression to the themes that have always been at the heart of his work: the all-important bond between fathers and sons, the economic desperation of small-town businesses, and the lifelong feuds and friendships that are a hallmark of small-town life. Following a trio of best friends who grew up in upstate Thomaston, New York, over 50 years, the novel captures some of the essential mysteries of life, including the unanticipated moments of childhood that will forever define one’s adulthood....

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

Division News

AASL seeks School Libraries Count! data proposal
In January 2007, AASL launched a longitudinal survey, School Libraries Count!, to gain an understanding of the state of school library media programs nationally. The survey will be conducted annually, and AASL is seeking proposals for developing an online data analysis tool to provide access to the survey data....

AASL to sponsor four Spectrum Scholars
AASL will sponsor the attendance of up to four Spectrum scholars at its 13th National Conference and Exhibition in Reno, Nevada, October 25–28. Each will be provided with full registration and a $750 travel stipend. Spectrum Scholars will also be paired with a mentor for the duration of the conference and will receive special recognition at key events....

Storytellers at AASL
Join master storytellers Steven Henegar, Erica Lann-Clark, and Olga Loya as they share their excitement in stories historical, traditional, personal, and contemporary at the AASL 13th National Conference and Exhibition in Reno, Nevada. The AASL Storytelling Festival: Eye of the Story, will be held on Thursday, October 25, from 8 to 10 p.m....

ACRL podcast on Studying Students
College & Research Libraries News Editor-In-Chief David Free talks with Judi Briden, Katie Clark, and Ann Marshall of the University of Rochester River Campus Libraries about their use of ethnographic techniques to understand undergraduate students and their use of information in this ACRL podcast (16:37). Briden, Clark, and Marshall are contributors to the ACRL publication Studying Students: The Undergraduate Research Project at the University of Rochester....

PLA preconference options
The 12th National Conference of the Public Library Association will offer a wide selection of preconferences designed to inform public library staff and administrators on topics and issues relevant to their jobs. All-day and half-day preconferences will be offered March 25 and 26, 2008, allowing conference attendees the opportunity to intensively address issues important to their public libraries....

Round Table News

Depository Library Councilors needed
The Government Documents Round Table is seeking nominees for the Depository Library Council, an advisory board to the Public Printer of the United States. The GODORT Steering Committee will select up to five names during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. The deadline for applications and nominations is December 7....


Cover of The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't, by Robert I. Sutton, the Quill winner in the Business category2007 Quill Book Awards
The winners of the 2007 Quill Book Awards, the “only book awards to pair a populist sensibility with Hollywood-style glitz,” were announced September 10 in 19 different categories. The gala awards ceremony will be held on October 22 at Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York City. The reading public now has the opportunity to vote for Quill Book of the Year from these titles....
Quill Book Awards, Sept. 10

Nominate someone for an ACRL award...
ACRL is committed to celebrating the achievements of academic and research librarians through the presentation of awards, grants, and fellowships. With almost $34,000 donated annually by corporate sponsors, ACRL will continue to nominate, select, and honor the very best in academic librarianship. Nominations and supporting materials for most awards must be submitted by December 7....

...or an ALCTS award
ALCTS presents seven awards to honor individuals whose work represents the finest achievements in research, collaboration, creative work, leadership, and service in the field of library collections and technical services and to support travel for library support staff to attend the ALA Annual Conference. The deadline is December 1....

Carl Harvey gets a royal robe in honor of his media center receiving AASL's NSLMPY awardMedia specialist is king for a day
Carl Harvey, library media specialist at North Elementary School in Noblesville, Indiana, couldn’t help but smile September 4 when he walked into the school’s gymnasium, where nearly every person donned a necktie. Even the 450 students made and colored their own paper neckties in honor of Harvey, who loves neckties and has about 200 in his collection. The library received AASL’s 2007 National School Library Media Program of the Year award for its collaboration with the rest of the staff to help students in all grades seek information and develop problem-solving skills....
Indianapolis Star, Sept. 5; Noblesville Schools

Barbara McBride-SmithOklahoma’s 2007 Polly Clarke Award
Barbara McBride-Smith of Tulsa’s Hoover Elementary School has been awarded the state’s top honor for school library media specialists. The Oklahoma Association of School Library Media Specialists presented McBride-Smith with the 2007 Polly Clarke Award on August 31....
Tulsa World, Sept. 2

Deadline for Downs Award
The deadline for nominations for the 2007 Robert B. Downs Intellectual Freedom Award, presented annually by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Graduate School of Library and Information Science, is October 12. The award acknowledges individuals or groups who have furthered the cause of intellectual freedom, particularly as it impacts libraries and information centers and the dissemination of ideas....
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign GSLIS

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Seen Online

Justice Department against net neutrality
The Justice Department said on September 6 that internet service providers should be allowed to charge a fee for priority web traffic. The agency told the Federal Communications Commission, which is reviewing high-speed internet practices, that it is opposed to “net neutrality,” the principle that all internet sites should be equally accessible to any web user. Several phone and cable companies, such as AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast, have previously said they want the option to charge some users more money for loading certain content or websites faster than others....
Associated Press, Sept. 6

Presidential library bills gathering dust in the Senate
Legislation that would force the Bush presidential library to disclose its donors is stalled in the Senate, as is a bill that would nullify President Bush’s decision to allow White House records to be sealed forever without explanation. The bills have strong backing from government watchdog groups and no outspoken opponents. The House sent both measures to the Senate in March, and a Senate committee gave its approval before Congress went on summer vacation....
Dallas (Tex.) Morning News, Sept. 10

This map, published in 1675 by John Seller, was one of the first to map the boundaries of New England. It is one of the maps donated to the Boston Public Library by Norman LeventhalBoston Public Library receives $10 million gift for its map center
Retired Boston developer and map aficionado Norman B. Leventhal is contributing $10 million for a permanent endowment of the Boston Public Library’s map center, the library’s largest gift ever. Leventhal, 90, is also making a long-term loan to BPL’s Norman B. Leventhal Map Center of 178 of his most valuable historic maps of Boston, New England, and the world....
Boston Globe, Sept. 6

Prisons purging religious books from libraries
Behind the walls of federal prisons nationwide, chaplains have been quietly carrying out a systematic purge of religious books and materials that were once available to prisoners in chapel libraries. The chaplains were directed by the Bureau of Prisons to clear the shelves of any books, tapes, CDs, and videos that are not on a list of approved resources. In some prisons, the chaplains have recently dismantled libraries that had thousands of texts collected over decades, bought by the prisons, or donated by churches and religious groups....
New York Times, Sept. 10

Scotland’s National Library flooded
A desperate battle to save thousands of historic books was launched the night of September 10 after five floors of the National Library of Scotland flooded when a sprinkler pipe was split by a contractor working on a refurbishment project. Firefighters and library staff worked through the night to salvage the threatened parts of the collection. Some modern books and manuscripts suffered surface water damage, but all of the “important, iconic” books were saved....
The Scotsman (Edinburgh), Sept. 11; National Library of Scotland

Cover of Sandpiper, by Ellen WittlingerStudent, grandmother confiscate high school library book
Fifteen-year-old Lysa Harding picked a book at random from Brookwood (Ala.) High School’s library for a book report in early September. Now, she doesn’t want to return it. Harding and her grandmother, Pam Pennington, say the book is too sexually explicit and shouldn’t be on school library bookshelves. The novel, Sandpiper by Ellen Wittlinger, tells the story of a 15-year-old girl who is on a “sexual power trip and engages in random hookups” for oral sex....
Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News, Sept. 12

Wikipedia vandals use the Bellingham library
For nearly two years, more than 119 edits have taken place from Bellingham (Wash.) Public Library terminals to Wikipedia pages, many of them not so nice or appropriate. From removing a reference to the 1999 Olympic Pipe Line disaster from the Bellingham Wikipedia page to adding “Iraq sucks” to the Iraq page, library visitors appear to have a proclivity for changing the facts or merely goofing off on the pages....
Bellingham (Wash.) Herald, Sept. 10

NYPL pays tribute to Astor
The New York Public Library celebration of the life of Brooke Astor September 11 focused on her passion for reading and writing and her ability to communicate the importance of the library to other New Yorkers. Astor is credited with helping the library out of financial crisis in the 1970s and into its current era of stability and recognition as a world-class institution. The formal program, which lasted just over an hour, included Nobel Literature Laureate Toni Morrison reading Astor’s childhood poems....
New York Sun, Sept. 12

Titanic menuLibrary fundraiser celebrates sinking ship
The Toms River branch of the Ocean County (N.J.) Library will host a “Last Dinner on the Titanic” September 28. The proceeds will benefit the Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts of the Hancock County (Miss.) Library. The seven-course dinner, a replica of the final meal served in the Titanic’s first-class dining room on the fateful night of April 14, 1912, is from one of two menus that survived, according to Last Dinner on the Titanic: Menus and Recipes from the Great Liner author Rick Archbold, who will be a featured guest at the event....
Toms River (N.J.) Times, Sept. 1

More strike action planned in Victoria
More shutdowns are likely on the way at the Greater Victoria (B.C.) Public Library. The union representing library workers says it plans to escalate job action until the Greater Victoria Labour Relations Association, which represents the library, is willing to return to the bargaining table. Library workers at all eight GVPL branches walked off the job for three hours September 7 in their first action after giving a 72-hour strike notice....
Victoria (B.C.) News, Sept. 12

Toronto closings irk patrons
Toronto’s library board, looking to slash $1.2 million in spending by the end of the year, opted to do away with Sunday hours at 16 branches from Scarborough to Etobicoke. September 9 was the first day for the closings, which are scheduled to last through the end of December. Judging by the number of people who stopped by, however, the news was quite a surprise....
Toronto Star, Sept. 10

Artist's conception of library space in the Fox Center, Guanajuato, MexicoFirst Mexican presidential library nears completion
Mexico’s first presidential library and museum, known as the Fox Center, is scheduled for completion in December on President Vicente Fox’s ranch in the state of Guanajuato. It will house a department for academic researchers, a think tank for research and development, a library and archival center to store thousands of documents and images taken during Fox’s six years in office, and a cultural center for hosting large events....
San Antonio (Tex.) Express-News, Sept. 6

"Hate on the State" report by the Centre for Social CohesionRadical books in London libraries
Public libraries serving the densest population of Muslims in London have been inundated with extremist literature, according to a report (right, PDF file) by a right-leaning think tank, the Centre for Social Cohesion. Multiple copies of books were found in Tower Hamlets borough libraries that would feature on any jihadist reading list, the report said. Tower Hamlets Council said their Islamic collections had been imbalanced, but they were improving....
BBC News, Sept. 5

Patients go to the library for mental health
Doctors in Scotland are prescribing self-help books to treat such conditions as mild depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. Following a successful trial, the scheme was launched in East Lothian on September 10 to coincide with the start of National Suicide Prevention Week. Edinburgh City Council is also considering introducing the project....
Edinburgh Evening News, Sept. 8

1796 Australian playbillCanada returns Australia’s oldest printed document
At a luncheon hosted by Australian Prime Minister John Howard at Government House in Canberra September 11, Prime Minister Stephen Harper repatriated the oldest printed document in Australian history. A playbill printed for a July 30, 1796, production in Sydney of Jane Shore surfaced a few months ago after it was discovered by Elaine Hoag, a rare book specialist at Library and Archives Canada, where she found it in the 150-year-old scrapbook of a British banker....
Library and Archives Canada , Sept. 11

Tech Talk

Facebook groups for librarians
Ellyssa Kroski writes: “There are thousands of interest groups within Facebook’s social nexus, each with a discussion board, area for posting recent news, photos, videos, and bookmarks, as well as a group wall on which members can leave passing comments. And within that collection of groups, several hundred are relevant to the LIS field. Here are some of the most popular groups of interest to librarians.”...
iLibrarian blog, Sept. 7

New Google Books features
Google Books has added a new feature called My Library. Just click on the “Add to my library” link below book search result snippets or book detail pages and the book will be added to a publicly viewable library page that you create where you can add reviews or ratings to your books. You can also clip text from books to embed it in a blog or web page. Finally, in page detail view, you will now see an expandable “Popular passages” section. To create this, Google analyzes which passages of a book appear in other books most often....
Google Blogoscoped, Sept. 6

Hectic Pace logoChange is good
Andrew Pace writes: “Boy, are things chaotic now. I wanted to write about change today, because I still think change is good. I was surprised to see my colleague Roy Tennant caution against change recently: ‘I wouldn’t want to change vendors now for the world. For those of you who can wait for a bit, I think now is a great time to do exactly that.’ His points about upheaval and the tenuous state of some of the vendors are spot on, but as a prognosticator in this market, I’m not sure I see things calming down anytime soon.”...
Hectic Pace blog, Sept. 12

Top 100 tech blogs
James Maguire writes: “Some tech blogs have truly distinguished themselves, even in an incredibly crowded field. They’re full of in-your-face opinion, but that opinion (on most days, at least) is backed up by deep expertise. They’re well-written and regularly updated, usually penned by major industry players and seasoned observers. They’re recognized as thought leaders on their subject. So, caveats aside, here are Datamation’s 100 Top Tech Blogs, by category.”...
Datamation, Aug. 29

Boomertown logoSocial networking for seniors
Technology investors and entrepreneurs, long obsessed with connecting to teenagers and 20-somethings, are starting a host of new social networking sites targeting their parents and grandparents. The sites have names like Eons, Rezoom, Multiply, Maya’s Mom, Boomj, and Boomertown. They are being built to capture the attention of a generation of internet users who have more money and leisure time than those several decades younger, and who may be more loyal than teens flitting from one trendy site to the next....
International Herald Tribune, Sept. 6

Wikipedia logoTop 10 Wikipedia tricks
Gina Trapani writes: “Thanks to its freely available content base, many Wikipedia-related projects have sprung up that offer easy access to information. Whether you want to do a quick lookup on your mobile phone to settle a debate at the bar, mind-map related articles, integrate Wikipedia lookups into your media player and instant messenger, or simply need better and quicker search tools—check out our list of top 10 Wikipedia tricks.” Number 1 is “Contribute,” something that many librarians are eminently qualified to do....
Lifehacker, Sept. 12

The next chapters for e-books
In October, the online retailer will unveil the Kindle, an electronic book reader that has been the subject of industry speculation for a year; the Kindle will be priced at $400 to $500 and will wirelessly connect to an ebook store on Amazon’s site. Also this fall, Google plans to start charging users for full online access to the digital copies of some books in its database; publishers will set the prices for their own books and share the revenue with Google....
New York Times, Sept. 8

Ingram to distribute e-books through Swets
Ingram Digital Group’s MyiLibrary is partnering with Swets subscription services to enable customers to access e-books and e-journals through one point of access. MyiLibrary offers access to more than 70,000 e-books, with content coming from over 300 publishers....
Ingram Digital Group, Sept. 5

Actions & Answers

National Book Festival authors are podcasting
Several authors who will be attending LC’s National Book Festival in Washington on September 29 have recorded some podcasts about their works. There are podcasts from David Baldacci, Ken Burns, Carmen Agra Deedy, Sanjay Gupta, and Shelia P. Moses, and at least a half dozen more are expected. You can also subscribe to the podcast feed....
Library of Congress

PRISM logoNew anti–open access effort targets research
A lobbying effort called PRISM—the Partnership for Research Integrity in Science and Medicine, launched with development support from the Association of American Publishers, specifically targets efforts to expand public access to federally funded research results—including the National Institute of Health’s Public Access Policy. This campaign is clearly focused on the preservation of the status quo in scholarly publishing (along with the attendant revenues) and not on ensuring that scientific research results are distributed and used as widely as possible....
Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, Sept. 6

CCIA logoFair use is an economic boon
The Computer and Communications Industry Association released a report (PDF file) September 12 concluding that fair use and other copyright exemptions that libraries utilize are a major contributor to economic growth in the United States. Long a central issue for libraries, fair use allows for the lawful usage of copyrighted works without the prior permission of the rights holder, under certain conditions....

Science librarians as advocates for change
Science librarians are in a unique position to take a leadership role in promoting scholarly communication initiatives and to aid in making scientific information more accessible. “Scholarly Communication: Science Librarians As Advocates for Change,” by Elizabeth C. Turtle and Martin P. Courtois at Kansas State University, outlines steps and identifies resources that science librarians can employ to become scholarly communication advocates on their campuses....
Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, no. 51 (Summer)

Georgia State Representative Julian Bond presents his "Historical Minute" on the history of Black capitalism in the United States, Nov. 5, 1975WGBH makes available historical news videos
OpenVault, launched by the WGBH-TV Media Library and Archives in Boston, offers access to video clips and interview transcrpits drawn from the public television station’s award-winning programming created between 1968 and 1993. The archive is designed to encourage educators and scholars in higher education to incorporate these materials into classroom curricula and outside study....
WGBH-TV OpenVault

NARA seeks input on digital archives plan
The National Archives and Records Administration is asking for comments from the public on its draft Plan for Digitizing Archival Materials for Public Access, 2007–2016 (PDF file). The draft outlines planned strategies to digitize and make more accessible the historic holdings from the National Archives of the United States. Comments are due by November 9....
National Archives and Records Administration, Sept. 10

Cover of The Library of Babel by Jorge Luis BorgesInformation policy for the Library of Babel
Copyfighter James Grimmelman—now at the New York Law School—has posted a new draft paper on “Information Policy for the Library of Babel.” It’s an allegory about the Library of Babel proposed in 1941 by Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986), in which all possible books are available—and about the information policy the library’s guardians would have to implement to make it the best library possible. James proposes that the internet bears striking similarities to the Library of Babel—and applies the lessons from its infinite depths to the question of information policy for the Net....
Boing Boing, Sept. 9

Who’s saying what about No Child Left Behind (PDF file)
The Education Commission of the States launched a No Child Left Behind Reauthorization database September 5—a single source for “who’s saying what” about renewing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The database captures the recommendations of national organizations for revising specific NCLB requirements and provisions, as well as how recent education reform priorities should be part of the NCLB discussion....
Education Commission of the States, Sept. 5

The life of a library’s lawyer
When Robert Vanni took the general counsel’s job at the New York Public Library, the world was still discovering the wonders of the fax machine. Two decades later, Vanni and the library’s two other in-house lawyers are dealing with a steady stream of knotty copyright questions, now that works hidden away on the library’s shelves can be digitized and broadly disseminated.... In-House Counsel, Sept. 4

Alison SwanMichael ChabonOpen Books Radio features author interviews
Booklist Assistant Editor Donna Seaman’s Open Books program, an hour-long, Chicago-based radio program on which she speaks with writers whose work she finds enlightening and affecting, now has a website, thanks to a grant from the Leo S. Guthman Fund. The site offers interviews with such authors as Michael Chabon and Alison Swan (pictured), as well as some ALA staffers who have written books....
Open Books Radio

WWOZ-FM flagNew Orleans radio station donates jazz to Library of Congress
WWOZ-FM, a community-supported radio station in New Orleans, has gifted the Library of Congress with more than 7,000 hours of live jazz and blues recordings spanning 15 years. The contribution, which comes after Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters nearly destroyed the station’s primary tape storage facility, will ensure the safety of the station’s collection of historic recordings....
Library of Congress, Sept. 10

IMLS funds $2.2 million in indigenous library enhancements
The Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded 14 Native American tribal communities and Alaska Native villages $1.75 million to improve library services to their communities. An additional grant of $519,700 went to Alu Like, Inc.’s Native Hawaiian Library in Honolulu....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Sept. 11

Screen shot of Lynne Brindley on discussing digital preservation on the British Library annual reportBritish Library uses video for its annual report
The British Library is employing some Web 2.0 techniques to get its message across to the public in its 2006–07 Annual Report. Called “My Library,” the report features Flash video clips of Chief Executive Lynne Brindley (right) and satisfied library users, pop-ups, audio files, animated tables, and abundant opportunities for feedback....
British Library

Books toolbox: 50+ sites for book lovers
Social networking blog Mashable offers this 2.0 list of book review websites, book communities, interactive publishing, book search and exchange sites, and other 2.0-like tools....
Mashable blog, Sept. 8

ABC-CLIO launches History and the Headlines
Constitution Day is September 17, and students and teachers nationwide will have the opportunity to explore the evolving story of the U.S. Constitution and the role it plays in our lives with the September 12 launch of History and the Headlines: Constitution Day, the first in the fall 2007 line-up of ABC-CLIO’s series of free, timely, online history reference and activity collections....
ABC-CLIO, Sept. 12

Still from Kirkwood Public Library teen videoLOL at Kirkwood Public Library
Teens at the Kirkwood (Mo.) Public Library are planning a film festival and YouTube contest to take place October 20 at the end of Teen Read Week. To promote it, they put together this one-minute video explanation of the rules, noting that contest videos must contain a scene at the library and be humorous enough to “make us all LOL.”...
YouTube, Sept. 5

Top 25 librarian bloggers
The Online Education Database decided to find out who the most popular library bloggers were: “In ranking the top librarian blogs, our goal was to show—using objective data from reliable sources—which blogs are the most popular, according to visitor traffic and site backlinks. To this end, we used data for these four metrics to calculate the rankings: Google PageRank, Alexa traffic rankings, Technorati Authority, and Bloglines subscribers.”...
Online Education Database, Sept. 4

The BookinistIt’s the Bookinist! (in German)
The Bookinist is a mobile reading chair, created by Bavarian designer Nils Holger Moormann, that you can wheel to your favorite study spots—even dark ones, since it has its own reading lamp. Some 80 paperbacks can be stowed in the arms, back, and sides, and the arms also contain compartments for your magnifying glass, writing notebook, pencils, pencil sharpener, and bookmarks. As Moormann says, “The Bookinist is equipped for both light and heavy reading.” But if you want something bigger and cozier, try Big Cozy Books....
Nils Holger Moormann; Big Cozy Books

Tech Soup ad

ALA Midwinter Meeting 2008, Philadelphia, logo

Bundled price on Midwinter and Annual meetings—only in September. You can save 20% over the advance price you would pay if you bought each registration separately. If you know you are attending both the 2008 Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia and the 2008 Annual Conference in Anaheim, this is the way to save. This deal is only available to ALA members. The bundled price is $290 for ALA members and $285 for division members. The offer is good through September 30.

READ CD with Photoshop Elements

Here is absolutely everything you need to create your own celebrity READ posters! The new READ CD box set now comes with Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0, giving you all the tools you need to design your own award-winning READ posters and bookmarks. Adobe’s easy-to-use editing software lets you instantly enhance your photos and combine them with eye-catching designs to create custom images. NEW! From ALA Graphics.

LOL @ your library Teen Read Week poster

Five days left to register for Teen Read Week! Registration ends September 17, and YALSA needs you to show your support for teen literacy, find activity ideas and media recommendations, and win a visit from author Tiffany Trent. Get ready to LOL @ your library October 14–20.

In this issue
September 2007

Current AL cover

The First Amendment Needs New Clothes

Rethinking the Library Bill of Rights

What’s a Library Worth?

ALA Awards

Cover of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter and public libraries: What’s your take? That’s the topic of the next “Perspectives,” a regular feature in
Public Libraries. The magazine welcomes essays on any library aspect of Harry Potter. Essays should be 750–1,000 words, and photographs are welcome. Letters of intent are appreciated, with first drafts due September 15.

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Information Literacy Operations Librarian, University of California at Los Angeles College Library. This one-year temporary position will provide in-depth reference services, both virtually and in person; coordinate requests for information-literacy instruction and maintain a schedule of sessions; and introduce improvements and innovations to College Library instructional services....

@ More jobs...

Digital Library of the Week

One of a series of three books compiled and issued circa 1927 by the Florida Department of Agriculture dealing with the resources and development of the state. From the Floridiana Collection of the University of Central Florida libraries.

Central Florida Memory is a unique digital collection of material contributed by partner institutions to create a virtual place where visitors can discover what Central Florida was like before theme parks and the space program. Diaries and letters describe the region and how people survived day-by-day in this extreme and rugged environment. Maps, photographs, and postcards illustrate how the region looked in the early years and how it changed over time. Voters’ registration, funeral records, and city directories provide demographic information on the Central Florida settler. Partner institutions are the University of Central Florida, the Orange County Regional History Center, Rollins College, the Orange County Library System, and the Museum of Seminole County History.

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

“Any librarians are highly intelligent, bordering on intellectual. I’d much rather be stuck in a lift with a librarian than Paris Hilton.”

—New Zealand fashion designer Paula Ryan, after a promotion for her style workshop at the Library and Information Association of New Zealand upset librarians with its stereotyping of the profession as “conservative and dated,” Auckland (N.Z.) Sunday Star Times, Sept. 2.

From the CentenniAL Blog

U.S. Military Office with Tabulating Machines, 1940s. Photo from Early Office Museum

Technology in American Libraries: from Big Blue to computers, 1944–1965. Greg Landgraf writes: “I was a bit overexcited when I opened the September 1944 issue of the ALA Bulletin and found an article on Montclair (N.J.) Public Library’s use of International Business Machines to analyze library usage statistics. In my head, IBM equals computers, and computers equal cool. In any event, the inspiringly-titled ‘Business Machine— Tool of Library Progress’ (Sept. 1944, p. 291–294) wasn’t about a computer by the modern (electronic and programmable) definition. While there’s no explicit model or even machine type listed, it looks like Montclair was using a punchcard-based tabulating machine. Despite starring only a computer precursor, the article seems to have the energy and excitement of the herald of a new, computerized era. No doubt they’ll arrive on the scene shortly, right? Well ... not quite.”...

See the CentenniAL Blog for more....

AL 100 logo

Ask the ALA Librarian

Grant writer image

Q. We’re launching a capital campaign for a new library branch, along with pursuing several foundation grants. We’re all very new to this and would appreciate any tips or guidelines on putting together an effective (and hopefully successful) grant application.

A. Definitely begin with ALA Library Fact Sheet 24, Library Fund Raising: A Selected Annotated Bibliography, which lists several books, articles, and websites that should prove helpful, especially:
   Grants for Libraries: A How-To-Do-It Manual and CD-ROM for Librarians by Stephanie K. Gerding and Pamela H. MacKellar, published by Neal-Schuman, 2006; also see the authors’ Library Grants blog.
   Grant Resources on the Web: Where to Look When You Need Funding by Dawn Ventress Knight and Emma Bradford Perry in College and Research Libraries News 60, no. 7 (July/August 1999): 543–545. Last revised: May 21, 2007.
   Also see the Grants and GrantWriting page at WebJunction, and the December 15, 2002, Library Journal article, Building the Dream Campaign Team: A Seasoned Professional Tells How to Raise Money and Win Votes for a New Library by Julie Guinsler. See our other resources on Fundraising and Advocacy, as well as the ALA Professional Tips wiki for more....

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.


Sept. 17–18:

Future of Music Policy Summit,
Washington, D.C. The keynote speaker is Marybeth Peters of the U.S. Copyright Office. Sessions on cultural preservation, metadata, net neutrality, and licensing are planned. Contact: Future of Music Coalition, 202-822-2051.

Sept. 18:
WebJunction free webinar,
“A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Library Surveys,” presented by Colleen Eggett, training coordinator for the Utah State Library. Contact: WebJunction.

Sept. 18–
Dec. 11:

Protecting Library and Archive Collections: Disaster Preparedness, Response, and Recovery,
a series of free, two-part workshops conducted by the Western States and Territories Preservation Assistance Service and held in California, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. The workshop days are scheduled 5-10 weeks apart. Participants will prepare short assignments prior to the first session. Workshop days are scheduled 5–10 weeks apart. Contact: Barclay Ogden, WESTPAS, 510-642-4946.

Oct. 15–26:
K12 Online
free virtual conference. For teachers, administrators, and educators around the world interested in the use of Web 2.0 tools in classrooms and professional practice. “Playing with Boundaries.”

Oct. 19–24:
American Society for Information Science and Technology,
Annual Meeting, Hyatt Regency, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “Joining Research and Practice: Social Computing and Information Science.” Contact: ASIST.

Oct. 23–25:
Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums Conference,
Oklahoma City. “Guardians of Language, Memory, and Lifeways.” Contact: Susan Feller.

Oct. 27:
Books for the Beast,
9th Young Adult Literature Conference, Roland Park Country School, Baltimore, Md. Sponsored by the Enoch Pratt Free Library. Contact: D. Taylor, 410-396-5356.

Oct. 29–30:
PALINET Conference and Vendor Fair,
Tremont Plaza Hotel/Tremont Grand, Baltimore. Contact: PALINET.

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

Nov. 1–2:
Understanding the Data around Us: Gathering and Analyzing Usage Data,
Magnolia Hotel, Dallas. Sponsored by the National Information Standards Organization and Amigos Library Services. Contact: NISO.

Nov. 2–3:
Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Children’s Literature Conference,
South Dearborn High School Aurora, Indiana. Contact: Patricia Richards.

Nov. 7–10:
XXVII Charleston Conference,
Issues in Book and Serial Acquisition, Charleston, South Carolina. “What Tangled Webs We Weave.” Contact: Katina Strauch.

Nov. 14–15:
Global Digital Format Registry Governance Workshop,
National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C. The GDFR initiative, led by the Harvard University Library, aims to develop an architecture to support a distributed global registry for file format information. Contact: Robert Chadduck, 301-837-1585.

@ More...

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