The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | September 27,

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

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AL Buyers Guide

U.S. & World News

Senate introduces NSL Reform Act
The U.S. Senate introduced the National Security Letter (NSL) Reform Act of 2007 September 25 in response to Justice Department abuses of NSLs uncovered by a March internal FBI audit. Introduced by Senators Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) and John Sununu (R-N.H.), the bill is a bipartisan effort like the House version (H.R. 3189) introduced July 26....

Ashland (Oreg.) Public LibraryJackson County Library boosters gain ground
It’s official: The reopening of the shuttered 15-branch Jackson County (Oreg.) Library system could happen within the month, thanks to the September 26 approval by the county commission of a five-year management outsourcing contract with Maryland-based Library Systems and Services (LSSI). Effective October 1, the contract will pay LSSI just over $3 million for FY2007–08. A week earlier, citizens of Ashland overwhelmingly approved a levy September 18 to reopen its branch facility’s doors (above) by November 1....

Veterans History Project logoVeterans History Project trims questioned data
Library of Congress staffers have modified the biographical data accompanying interviews with 24 soldiers in the Veterans History Project after an article in the September 18 Marine Corps Times pointed out that they were not on the official list of Medal of Honor recipients. The VHP, an oral history program administered by LC’s American Folklife Center since 2000, collects and preserves the personal recollections of some 50,000 U.S. soldiers and homefront civilians from World War I to the present....

It's Perfectly Normal coverMaine woman quarantines sex-education book
A woman in Lewiston, Maine, has checked out copies of the oft-challenged It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex and Sexual Health by Robie H. Harris from the public libraries in Lewiston and Auburn and refuses to return them, citing the book’s frank content. “Since I have been sufficiently horrified of the illustrations and the sexually graphic, amoral abnormal contents, I will not be returning the books,” JoAn Karkos wrote in August 11 letters to Library Directors Rick Speer and Rosemary Walto....

Christ statute by Horatio Greenough at Boston Public Library. Photo by BPL.Lucifer statue by Horatio Greenough at Boston Public Library. Photo by BPL.Patrons vandalize Christ figure as Lucifer looks on
Two visitors to Boston Public Library’s main library were caught on security camera September 12 toppling and breaking into several pieces a 160-year-old marble bust of Jesus Christ (on right). Sculpted by Horatio Greenough around 1845, the bust had graced the library’s staircase landing since 1895, and was shielded by a railing. A matching bust depicting Lucifer, also by Greenough, was untouched....

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ALA News

ALA applauds Senate NSL reform bill
ALA thanks Senators Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) and John Sununu (R-N.H.) for introducing the National Security Letter Reform Act of 2007 on September 25. “ALA has urged reforms to National Security Letters from the get-go,” said President Loriene Roy. “Law enforcement is extremely important, but those efforts must be balanced against Americans’ right to privacy, in our case for their library and internet usage records.”... logoApply for new Public Programs exhibits through
Libraries planning to apply for some federally funded programming grants through the ALA Public Programs Office are now required to register and apply through This includes new PPO traveling exhibitions such as John Adams and African Americans in Baseball, as well as library programs about the Works Progress Administration Writers’ Project (to be announced later this fall). However, it does not include privately funded projects (Let’s Talk About It) or federal projects with no cash award (We the People Bookshelf and Picturing America). For help with registration, visit the PPO website....

Pirate section of ALA/Arts Info IslandBanned Books Week adds more technology
Tom Peters writes: “This year ALA is trying several new high-tech methods to reach out to more people with Banned Books Week. Among these are an area of ALA/Arts Info Island in Second Life that has been turned into a pirate ship and wharf corresponding to this year’s piratical theme; an underwater pirate ship and banned books display in Teen Second Life; a BBW Facebook group; and a Google Maps mashup where people can input and find the locations of planned activities. If this is all uncharted territory for you, the PLA Blog can help....
ALA TechSource, Sept. 21; PLA Blog, Sept. 22

Loriene Roy on religious texts in prisons
ALA President Loriene Roy called on the Federal Bureau of Prisons to immediately halt its removal of religious texts from prison libraries (a new policy it is calling the Standardized Chapel Library Project) and return removed books to the library shelves. “A government agency should not have the right to determine what religious texts are ‘appropriate’ when our Constitution promises not only freedom of speech, but also freedom of religion,” Roy said. But the bureau may now be backtracking....

Image from DTV flier showing TV with words, "In 2009, standard TV signals will cease. How will you be affected?"What do you know about DTV?
The 2009 transition from analog to digital television (DTV) is a big deal, and it’s getting bigger every day nearer to February 17, 2009, when analog TV signals will cease. As with all consumer and government issues, many patrons will be coming into the library looking for information and assistance with the DTV transition. The ALA Washington Office has created a DTV flier (PDF file) that librarians can use to get a feel for the basics or to post for public viewing....
District Dispatch blog, Sept. 25

Advocacy logoAdvocacy Institute at Midwinter
ALA will hold an Advocacy Institute on Friday, January 11, during the Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. The institute offers a valuable opportunity to network and share ideas with library advocates from across the nation. All attendees will leave with the tools necessary to become better advocates for their communities and campuses....

Travel grants for attending ALA Annual Conference
Karen Muller writes: “It’s not too early to start thinking about next year’s Annual Conference—especially if you’re seeking some travel assistance. Thousands of dollars in travel awards are available to ALA members (and interested professionals) through the generosity of vendors and other benefactors. For the most part, the deadline for applying for these travel grants is December 1. While it seems early, acting now can mean a free ticket, registration, and even a per-diem.” Check out the details on ALA’s new Marginalia blog....
ALA Marginalia blog, Sept. 25

Booklist Online logo

Cover of Slummy Mummy CDFeatured review: Media
Neill, Fiona. Slummy Mummy. Read by Katherine Kellgren. July 2007. 9hr. Listen and Live, CD (978-1-59316-101-9).
Neill’s gem of a debut novel finds Londoner Lucy Sweeney, mother of three youngsters, struggling to keep up with the other seemingly perfect and stress-free mothers in a hilariously clumsy battle with laundry, errands, and child rearing. Disaster peaks when Lucy begins to have feelings for a man other than her husband. Despite her inner conscience and advice from friends, she acts on her lustful desires. Reading in a British accent, Kellgren keeps the tone lighthearted and fun, despite the catastrophes that constantly loom around Lucy....

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

Division News

YALSA celebrates 50 Years of Reading Free
YALSA’s Intellectual Freedom Committee is marking Banned Books Week with 50 Years of Reading Free, a booklist featuring frequently challenged and banned books with teen appeal. The list also recognizes YALSA’s role in fighting censorship throughout the division’s 50-year history. The full list is available on the Intellectual Freedom Committee’s wiki page....

Cover of Revolution Is Not a Dinner PartyAASL joins forces with Children’s Book Council
AASL is collaborating with the Children’s Book Council to create a new column, “Meet the Author/Illustrator,” in Knowledge Quest, the division’s official journal. The series will debut in the September/October 2007 issue and feature Ying Chang Compestine, author of Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party (Henry Holt), the story of a girl who comes of age and fights to survive during the Chinese Cultural Revolution....

National Vocabulary Championship logoNational Vocabulary Championship joins PLA’s Smartest Card campaign
The Game Show Network’s 2007–2008 National Vocabulary Championship has joined the Smartest Card @ your library campaign as an official Smartest Card Team Member. The NVC awards over $100,000 in money toward college tuition and other prizes and is open to eligible high school students between the ages of 13 and 19....

PLA 12th National Conference logoPLA 2008 goes paperless
PLA’s 12th National Conference will feature online access to all handouts before, during, and after the conference, allowing attendees to download or print out only the handouts they need, significantly reducing the amount of wasted paper. As with many meetings, it is difficult for PLA to reliably gauge how many people will attend a program. Going “paperless” allows PLA to create a more environmentally friendly conference....

ALSC’s new Bill Morris Seminar
ALSC seeks applications and nominations for its first Bill Morris Seminar on book evaluation training, to be held January 11, 2008, prior to the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. This invitational biennial seminar supports and honors William C. Morris’s dedication to connecting librarians, and ultimately children, with excellent children’s books....

Every Child Ready to Read logoCustomized Every Child Ready to Read brochures
PLA and ALSC are accepting large-quantity print orders for Every Child Ready to Read brochures that are customized with your library name and logo. Orders will be accepted until November 2. When placing your order, please be sure to include a copy of your library logo and complete contact information....

Walden Media logoWalden Media to sponsor AASL internet café
Film production and publishing company Walden Media will sponsor the internet café at the AASL 13th National Conference and Exhibition, October 25–28, in Reno, Nevada. Twenty computer stations will provide conference attendees with free access to the internet and the ability to check their email....


RUSA Reading List logoBest genre fiction for adult readers
RUSA’s Collection Development and Evaluation Section has established The Reading List, a juried list of the best titles published in eight genre areas for adults—fantasy, historical fiction, horror, mystery, romance, science fiction, women’s fiction, and adrenaline (suspense, thrillers, and action titles). The first list of eight winning titles will be announced at the CODES awards reception during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, January 27....

Apply for the Sara Jaffarian award
Applications are now available for the second annual Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award for Exemplary Humanities Programming. Any elementary or middle school library, public or private, is eligible to apply. The award consists of $4,000 in cash, a plaque, and the promotion of the winner as a model program for other school libraries. Applications are due by December 1....

IMLS awards National Leadership Grants
The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced September 25 the 43 recipients of its prestigious National Leadership Grants for 2007. National Leadership Grants help libraries and museums collaborate, build digital resources, and conduct research and demonstration projects. Among the library recipients are the Denver Public Library, the New England Law Library Consortium, and Rice University’s Fondren Library. See the full list....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Sept. 25

Knowledge Trust awards ceremony honors eight
The second annual Knowledge Trust Honors award program, sponsored by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science, recognized eight innovative leaders at a black-tie event September 17: Thomas S. Blanton, Jeffrey Elkner, John Hanke, Pamela Jones, Ryan P. Allis, Brewster Kahle, David P. Reed, and Thomas Barnett....
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Sept. 20

Union activist wins Berman award
Solveig Nilsen, recently retired librarian at the Hennepin County (Minn.) Library, is the recipient of the 2007 Sandy Berman Award for Social Responsibility in Library Services. The award was established in 1999 to honor Sandy Berman, head cataloger in the Hennepin County Library system for 26 years. It has been presented semiannually by AFSCME locals to a library employee who has made a unique and invaluable contribution to the community-at-large through his or her work in Hennepin County Library....
Workday Minnesota, Sept. 24

RITA Award statuetteLibraries Love Romance finalists announced
Librarians from all over the country entered the first Libraries Love Romance contest and demonstrated the important role romance fiction plays in their libraries. The contest, which seeks to recognize excellence in library programs and promotions focusing on romance fiction, hosted two divisions. Now you can help decide which libraries should take the top prize of $500 and a set of 2007 RITA Award–winning novels. Voting closes October 12....
Romance Writers of America

AL Buyers Guide

Seen Online

Federal Bureau of Prisons sealBureau of Prisons to restore purged books
Facing pressure from religious groups, civil libertarians, and members of Congress, the Federal Bureau of Prisons has decided to return religious materials that had been purged from prison chapel libraries because they were not on the bureau’s lists of approved resources. The bureau has not abandoned the idea of creating such lists, but rather than packing away everything while those lists are compiled, the religious materials will remain on the shelves. Only a week ago, the bureau said it was not reconsidering the library policy; but critics of the bureau’s program said it appeared that it had bowed to widespread outrage....
New York Times, Sept. 26

Another provision of Patriot Act ruled illegal
Key provisions of the USA Patriot Act, which allow a secret court to authorize wiretaps and searches in criminal cases if the government says foreign intelligence is involved, violate constitutional standards that are more than 200 years old, a federal judge ruled (PDF file) September 26. Ruling in the case of Brandon Mayfield, an Oregon attorney who was wrongly arrested in connection with the 2004 terrorist train bombings in Madrid, U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken of Portland said he was subjected to surveillance under a 2001 law that flouted the constitutional requirement of a search warrant....
San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 27

Scores show mixed results for No Child Left Behind
America’s public school students are doing significantly better in math since the federal No Child Left Behind law took effect in 2002, but gains in reading achievement have been marginal, with performance declining among 8th graders, according to results of nationwide reading and math tests released September 25. The results also showed that the nation has made only incremental progress in narrowing the historic gaps in achievement between white and minority students, a fundamental goal of the federal law....
New York Times, Sept. 25

Findlay-Hancock County Public Library lower level after the flood. Courtesy of the libraryFindlay library flood restoration continues
More than a month after more than six feet of water filled the basement of the Findlay–Hancock County (Ohio) Public Library, officials are asking patrons to be forgiving. The library remains closed and, while Director Sybil Galer isn’t willing to predict when it might reopen, it’s clear it could be several more months. The library board of trustees wants to ensure that it will be rebuilt as flood-proof as humanly possible....
Toledo (Ohio) Blade, Sept. 23

Fireman charged in Havre de Grace library fire
A Havre de Grace, Maryland, volunteer firefighter has been suspended while he awaits trial on charges that he was involved in firebombing the town’s library August 22 so he could help extinguish the blaze. Daniel Woodrow Ramsey Jr., 28, faces charges of possession of a destructive device and conspiracy to commit arson. The blaze caused about $17,000 worth of damage to the Havre de Grace branch of the Harford County Public Library....
Baltimore Sun, Sept. 24

Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880)Abolitionist text found at Bethlehem library book sale
When volunteers showed Liza Holzinger, coordinator of Bethlehem (Pa.) Area Public Library’s book sales, an unmarked leather-bound book in August, she knew they had found something special. Holzinger realized it was actually two books that someone had bound together—an 1833 first edition of An Appeal in Favor of That Class of Americans Called African (said to be the first book written by a white person in favor of emancipation) by abolitionist and American Frugal Housewife author Lydia Maria Child (above), and an 1840 second edition of The Slave: Memoirs of Archy Moore. The volume will be silent auctioned September 29....
Allentown (Pa.) Morning Call, Sept. 23

Artwork too risqué for suburban Texas library
Brookhaven College fine arts student Alex Trevino never expected to become the first artist in 20 years to have works removed from the public library in Farmers Branch, Texas. City Manager Gary Greer ordered several works from Trevino’s exhibit taken out of Manske Library’s gallery in September because they depicted violence, gore, and undetailed frontal nudity that Greer considered inappropriate for the many children who visit the library....
Dallas Morning News, Sept. 24

Cover of The Shell Lady's DaughterShell Lady's Daughter challenged in Gillette
School officials in Gillette, Wyoming, are assembling a committee of community members to review a book that a woman wants removed from the libraries at two junior high schools. The Shell Lady’s Daughter by C. S. Adler (1983) is about a girl who learns how to cope with her mentally ill mother. In her formal request, Sarah Forster listed several “objectionable subjects” she said appear in the book, including sexual relations between teenagers, sexual thoughts, promiscuity, masturbation, deceiving parents, suicide, and self-inflicted pain....
Gillette (Wyo.) News-Record, Sept. 25

Cover of Where Willy WentSex-ed book under fire in Chandler
The Chandler (Ariz.) Public Library Board has agreed to review the suitability of a children’s book on sex education following complaints from parents that it should be placed among reading material for adults. The book, Where Willy Went by Nicholas Allan, was one of several publications scrutinized during a September 20 board meeting. Others included the Phoenix New Times and a George Carlin audiobook called When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?....
Mesa East Valley Tribune, Sept. 22

Cover of Happy EndingsHappy Endings for Pascagoula
A best-selling book by comedian Jim Norton will now be available again to library patrons in Pascagoula, Mississippi. The board of the Jackson-George Regional Library System voted 3–1 September 25 to make Happy Endings: The Tales of a Meaty-Breasted Zilch available upon request, but not placed into general circulation. The book has been out of circulation since an Ocean Springs patron complained in August....
Biloxi (Miss.) Sun Herald, Sept. 26

Michigan cuts some print journals
To save money, the University of Michigan libraries have canceled some of their print journal subscriptions because of budget cuts and the increasing costs of the subscriptions. University Librarian Paul Courant said that about 2,500 were canceled this fiscal year. In many cases, Courant said, the university starts by canceling duplicate subscriptions, leaving one copy of the journal in at least one library, as opposed to in multiple libraries. In other cases, subscriptions were cancelled to journals with lower demand....
Michigan Daily, Sept. 24

Chris Hirt at the finish line during the Ironman competitionIronman at Calvin College library
Calvin College Library Systems Programmer Chris Hirt competed in the Ironman Wisconsin competition in Madison, September 7, completing the grueling 140-mile triathlon in under 12 hours and finishing in the top 10% of more than 2,000 competitors. From 7 a.m. to late in the evening, Hirt and his wife Rebecca overcame kicks, bruises, dehydration, fatigue, and mental strain to hear the announcer say over the loudspeaker, “Christopher Hirt from Grand Rapids, Michigan, you are an Ironman!”
The Chimes (Calvin College), Sept. 21

How the internet will change libraries
Former ALA President Sarah Long writes: “As a librarian, I worry about the future of libraries. I know that people born after 1980 are very different from those of us who were born earlier. These less-than-30-year-olds were born digital. All their lives they’ve had computers and digital toys of various descriptions. There is some evidence that they actually think and process information differently as a result.”...
Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald, Sept. 23

CBS 3 logoEyewitness News goes to Temple
CBS 3, station KYW-TV in Philadelphia, will donate its vast video archives, a virtual diary of the history of the region during the last 30 years, to Temple University’s Paley Library, CBS 3 President and General Manager Michael Colleran and Temple University President Ann Weaver Hart announced September 26. The station’s collection of more than 20,000 videotapes, including daily local newscasts and video clips from “Eyewitness News,” will be housed in Paley Library’s Urban Archives and, once cataloged, made available to students and researchers....
CBS 3, Sept. 26

UConn Law Library repair bill set at $19 million
The University of Connecticut’s law school library is so damaged by leaks and flaws in its granite façade that fixing it will cost $19 million, only $5 million less than it cost to build the library. The university plans to repair the unstable façade, reinstall waterproofing and windows, and replace moldy walls and carpets. The board of trustees approved the project September 25; construction is scheduled to begin in October....
Hartford (Conn.) Courant, Sept. 26

British Library funding cuts threatened
Free public access to many of the most important original documents in world literature held at the British Library is under threat because of funding cuts. Lynne Brindley, who has run the library since 2000, was instructed this year to look at the consequences of funding cuts to its £100-million budget that might range from 5% to 7% once the Chancellor completes his funding review. “The prognosis was chilling,” Brindley said....
The Guardian (U.K.), Sept. 23

Tech Talk

System Recovery screenHow to recover (almost) anything
Kirk Steers writes: “It’s amazing how fast a single keystroke or mouse click can change your life. One false move, and bang! An hour’s, day’s, or even a lifetime’s work can slip away into digital oblivion. But not everything that disappears is lost forever. These tips will help you retrieve the seemingly irretrievable—from files long ago removed from the Recycle Bin, to hard drives you pronounced dead in years past, to text messages zapped from your cell phone’s SIM card.”...
PC World, Sept. 4

MooWee logoWatch TV on your Wii
MooWee is an application that lets you watch internet TV content on your television screen using your Nintendo Wii game console. You’ll need a broadband connection with a minimum bandwidth of 384kbps as well as an internet browser on your Wii console in order to hook this up. From there, you can watch shows on your television screen, and use your Wiimote to change channels....
Mashable, Sept. 20

USB 3 and public libraries
Phil Shapiro writes: “Intel’s announcement of USB 3.0 gives a hint at how multimedia might be consumed in public libraries in coming years. The new technology could transfer 600MB—about as much data as you’ll find on a CD-ROM—in one second. That means people learning English at the library could obtain 3 hours of video instruction, tranferred in less than 20 seconds, via USB 3.”....
PC World, Sept. 24; C|Net, Sept. 18

Amazon MP3 logoAmazon’s alternative to iTunes
Michael Arrington writes: “It may have taken Amazon a few years, but they got it right. Their new music store is DRM-free and songs, starting at $0.89 per track, are cheaper than at Apple’s iTunes. The top 100 best-selling albums are priced no higher than $8.99. Songs are delivered in MP3 format, meaning they’ll work on any music player, including the iPod. The store opens with 2 million songs from 80,000 artists represented by 20,000 labels.”...
TechCrunch, Sept. 25

Steampunk laptop designed by Richard NagyIf Jules Verne had designed computer systems
Technophiles are tapping into a movement known as “steampunk,” where computers and other gadgets are reimagined using the technology and aesthetic of the Victorian era. In this video (3:47), Andy Jordan reports on New Jersey designer Richard Nagy, who has built a laptop booted up by an antique clock-winding key, a scanner modified to look like a rare book, and a fully functional desktop computer with an old Underwood typewriter for a keyboard and a CD player hidden inside a porthole. “I'm a retro-futurist at heart,” Nagy says....
Wall Street Journal, Aug. 9; YouTube

Actions & Answers

Wyoming's mudflap girlWyoming’s mudflap girl causes a flap
A marketing campaign spearheaded by the Wyoming State Library has caused a minor stir in Libraryland. Themed “Bringing the World to Wyoming,” the idea was to make Wyoming residents realize there was something for them at the library. But the image of a silhouetted mudflap girl reading was a bit too sexist for some, though others welcomed the “steamy book action.” Perhaps Shelf Check #93 said it best....
Wyoming Libraries; Free Range Librarian, Sept. 20; Annoyed Librarian, Sept. 23; Shelf Check, Sept. 25

Woman reading, man notWhy do women read more than men?
When it comes to fiction, the gender gap is at its widest. Men account for only 20% of the fiction market, according to surveys conducted in the U.S., Canada, and Britain. But why? Cognitive psychologists have found that women are more empathetic than men, and possess a greater emotional range—traits that make fiction more appealing to them. Some experts see the genesis of the “fiction gap” in early childhood. Another theory focuses on “mirror neurons,” which may be more sensitive in women and could hold the biological key to empathy....
NPR, Sept. 5

Teen Links logo on Hennepin websiteHennepin County’s impressive MySpace presence
Kerri Price writes: “In response to teens’ love of online social networking, Hennepin County (Minn.) Library has created a neat, clean, and logically laid out MySpace page, complete with fun, vibrant colors. The friends section includes a healthy mixture of library patrons, indie rock bands, and young adult authors like John Green and Meg Cabot. Visitors can view lists of new books and DVDs, and connect to the Ask a Librarian service. The library also offers tips on their Extranet for librarians on how to create a MySpace page and include a search box for the library catalog.”...

Protecting library patron confidentiality: Best practices (PDF file)
Trina J. Magi writes: “Now that libraries have greater-than-ever potential for collecting and storing many types of personal data, often in digital form, librarians must be increasingly vigilant in guarding the public trust. Fortunately, the library literature offers many concrete actions librarians can take to protect the confidentiality of library patrons.”...
AALL Spectrum 12, no. 1 (Sept./Oct.)

Why librarians blog
Michael Stephens presents an excerpt from his recent Ph.D. dissertation, “Modeling the Role of Blogging in Librarianship,” in which he examines the answers to his question: “Why do you blog?” The most frequent response (40%) was “to share information or insight,” with only 16% of respondents saying they did it for fun....
Tame the Web blog, Sept. 23

Foreign-language antique leather books are only $300 per foot, at the Strand BookstoreAn idea for the Friends’ book sale
The Strand Bookstore in New York is selling books “by the foot” in various genres, bindings, and conditions that will be a “perfect match for any home or office space, one that will please the eye and satisfy the mind.” Prices range from $10 (bargain books) to $400 per foot (antique leather). The store has been doing this for film and theater-set designers for years. The Strand’s book chooser Nancy Bass Wyden says that she can “custom make any kind of library.” Not a bad fundraiser....
The Strand Bookstore

Blue-ribbon task force to address digital preservation
An international Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access, funded by the National Science Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will address the preservation of our digital data and its economic sustainability. The Library of Congress, the National Archives and Records Administration, the Council on Library and Information Resources, and the Joint Information Systems Committee of the United Kingdom are all participating....
San Diego Supercomputer Center, Sept. 19

Library2Library logoLibrary courier management system
The Quipu Group in Denver has released Library2Library, a scalable courier management and materials transportation system designed specifically for libraries. The knowledge-base application includes a trouble-ticket system, routing-slip creation, lost and damaged item management, multilevel logins, and courier route and schedule management....
Quipu Group, Sept. 24

Federal tax forms program
The Tax Forms Outlet Program is a voluntary Internal Revenue Service program that provides taxpayers with access to tax forms and related products in their local communities. The IRS mailed the forms out in August. If your library has not already submitted its federal tax forms order, you must return the order blank by October 8 or call 800-829-2765 to place an order....
District Dispatch blog, Sept. 19

American Archives Month PR kitOctober is American Archives Month
Help celebrate the American record and promote the value of archives and the importance of archivists in your library. The 2007 American Archives Month Public Relations Kit (PDF file) promotes the value of archives and the importance of archivists. Highlighted in this second annual kit is a special section that will help you spread the word about archives to young people. And be sure to look for—and participate in—“Say What? The First Annual ‘Best Elevator Speech’ Contest—With Prizes!”...
Society of American Archivists

LibraryThing logoLibraryThing and the library catalog (PDF file)
John Wenzler, electronic resources coordinator for San Francisco State University’s J. Paul Leonard Library, offers examples of how libraries can use folksonomies—tags created by users of the home-cataloging website LibraryThing—in their catalogs (in four easy steps): “By adding LibraryThing widgets to their OPACs, libraries can use LibraryThing tags to generate links between related books in their own collection.”...
San Francisco State University, Sept. 7

Non-destructive assessment of paper properties could be as easy as this in the near future. The NIR spectroscopic approach will provide data on the chemical and mechanical properties, on the basis of which an informed decision making will be possible.Can chemistry save our libraries?
The familiar, earthy smells that waft from the page as you leaf through a dusty old tome in the library are in fact the bouquet of the book’s decay. Measuring the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that the paper gives off is one nondestructive method that Matija Strlic, from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and colleagues have developed to assess the state of books in European libraries. Strlic and other members of a project called SurveNIR have developed a near infrared (NIR) technique to assess a book’s condition....
Chemistry World, Aug. 10

Tech Soup ad

I'm attending Midwinter badge

Use a participation button on your blog or website to promote your involvement in the 2008 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, January 11–16. There are also downloadable buttons for exhibitors, speakers, and sponsors. Online hotel reservations will open at 9:00 a.m. Central Time, October 1.

Brain Food poster

A healthy brain is essential for success in school. Based on a concept taught by 7th-grade language-arts teacher Tammie Matos, this colorful poster prioritizes different “brain food” groups—from nonfiction to mind candy—and reminds students to feed their minds with a balance of reading choices.
NEW! From ALA Graphics.

Rock the Vote image

Know anyone who isn’t registered to vote? Send them to the ALA Washington Office website. Just look for the Rock the Vote banner, click on it, and a registration form will appear. Have them fill it out and they’re all set!

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

LC bookmark image

The Library of Congress has created a young readers online toolkit to help celebrate its National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Head of Bibliographic/ Metadata Services, Kelvin Smith Library, Case Western University, Cleveland. Responsible for planning, organizing, implementing, and evaluating services and procedures that enhance bibliographic access and indexing for collections and resources. Supervises the provision of both traditional MARC catalog records as well as metadata records in METS, MODS, Dublin Core, and other formats for digitized objects created by the library....

@ More jobs...

Reference books

The new 12th edition of ALA’s Guide to Reference (renamed to denote its format neutrality) will be published in spring 2008 under the leadership of Robert H. Kieft. This online edition will be the first to list web resources and the first to take full advantage of the Web’s capacities to connect information sources. ALA Editions is considering different pricing models for Guide to Reference and would appreciate your feedback to help us best determine the needs of our users. Please take a few minutes to complete this short survey about Guide to Reference.

Digital Library of the Week

Portrait of John Bear, a member of the Meskwaki (Fox) tribe from the Meskwaki Settlement in Tama, Iowa. He is standing on a rock overlooking the Rock River, and is wearing a feathered headdress and moccasins in addition to ceremonial attire that appears to be decorated with beadwork and embroidery. He is also wearing what is likely a bandolier bag, as well as a beaded necklace. He is holding what appears to be a drum in his left hand, and is striking it with a stick or mallet held in his right hand. This photograph was taken at the Watch Tower at Black Hawk State Park in Rock Island, Illinois, in 1925. Photo from Augustana College collection.

The Upper Mississippi Valley Digital Image Archive showcases images of the Mississippi River region along the Iowa/Illinois border. The archive began in February 2002, with conversations between the founding partners of the consortium: Augustana College Special Collections in Rock Island, Illinois; the Davenport (Iowa) Public Library Special Collections; and Musser Public Library in Muscatine, Iowa. The collection will eventually consist of a searchable database of thousands of digital images from local history collections covering the 1860s through the 1950s.

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

There’s nothing like a good attempted book banning to show there’s still life in this society. It’s a sign of how far along we are in this experiment with democracy. If you don’t like something, you scream, but you don’t issue fatwas on the authors. And in this world of change it is nice to know that some people still care enough about the written word to want to take books off the shelves.”

—Columnist Tom Blackburn, “A Case for Literary Thou-Shalt-Nots,” Cox News Service, Sept. 23.

From the CentenniAL Blog

Ralph Nader, and an unnamed delegate, at the 1973 American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Washington, D.C. Nader spoke on threatened cuts to federal aid for libraries and other social programs, and challenged librarians to battle for such programs.

The return of Ralph Nader. Greg Landgraf writes: “Coming in November 2007, American Libraries will have an article by consumer advocate Ralph Nader. To preview, his article is a remembrance piece, recollections of the role of books and libraries in his childhood. Nader returns to AL’s pages after a 34-year absence (apart from a couple news briefs, incidental mentions within other stories, and an introduction to his D.C. Library Renaissance Project). In 1973, ‘Ralph Nader called up and invited himself to the wake for libraries at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in Washington,’ as the introduction to his May 1973 (p. 275–278) article explains.”...

Read the CentenniAL Blog for more....

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Ask the ALA Librarian

Mac or Mc Shelving

Q. I am a school librarian and part of my job is cataloging. Another staff member recently asked me what the official “rule” is for shelving fiction books by authors whose last names begin with “Mc” and “Mac.” Can you help?

A. For libraries, there are two main sets of filing rules: letter-by-letter and word-by-word. For most of us with online catalogs, filing rules have been embedded in the programming that enables the display of search results. If this is the case in your library, you might want to see if your system follows the “file as is” model, which would mean that you would shelve novels by authors with last names beginning “Mac” separately from those beginning “Mc.” See the ALA Professional Tips wiki for more....

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.


Oct. 4–7:

LITA National Forum,
Denver. “Technology with Altitude: 10 Years of the LITA National Forum.”

Oct. 15:
National Literacy Summit,
Georgetown University Conference Center, Washington, D.C. “Competitive Literacies for the Global Economy.” Register by October 1.

Oct. 18–19:
KLA College and University Libraries Section,
Fall Conference, Hotel Old Town, Wichita, Kansas. Featuring a Mystery Night at the Museum of World Treasures. Contact: Rita Sevart.

Oct. 19:
California Newspapers in the Digital Age: Making Our History Available, Riverside (Calif.) Convention Center. This conference will celebrate the creation of the California Digital Newspaper Collection, a free digital resource containing over a half century of California newspapers, and discuss this milestone in the larger context of preserving and accessing California newspapers. Sponsored by the University of California, Riverside, Center for Bibliographical Studies and Research. Contact: CBSR, 951-827-5841.

Oct. 24–26:
Minnesota Library Association,
Annual Conference, Mankato. “All the World’s a Stage: Becoming a Lead Player.”

Oct. 24–26:
Mississippi Library Association,
Annual Conference, Vicksburg Convention Center. “Mississippi Libraries: Discover the World, Close to Home.”

Oct. 24–26:
Nebraska Library Association/ Nebraska Educational Media Association,
Annual Conference, Kearney.

Oct. 25–28:
AASL National Conference,
Reno, Nevada. “The Future Begins @ your library.”

Oct. 26–29:
California Library Association,
Annual Conference, Long Beach Convention Center. “Opportunity Knocks.”

Oct. 31–
Nov. 2:

South Carolina Library Association,
Annual Conference, Radisson Bush River Road, Columbia. “Library 2.0: Taking South Carolina’s Libraries to the People.”

Nov. 1–2:
Virginia Library Association/Virginia Association of Law Libraries,
Annual Conference, The Homestead, Hot Springs. “Reflect, Retool, Recharge.”

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.

Nov. 1–3:
From Gray Areas to Green Areas: Developing Sustainable Practices in Preservation Environments,
Kilgarlin Center for Preservation of the Cultural Record, University of Texas at Austin.

Nov. 2:
Brick and Click Libraries: An Academic Library Symposium,
Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville.

Nov. 2:
Digital Scholarship/Digital Libraries Symposium,
Emory University Libraries, Atlanta.

Nov. 6–9:
Michigan Library Association,
Annual Conference, Lansing Center and Radisson Hotel. “READ Between the Lines.”

Nov. 8–10:
Colorado Association of Libraries,
Annual Conference, Hammons Convention Center, Denver. “Get RadiCAL 2007.”

Nov. 9–11:
Hawaii Library Association,
Annual Conference, Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa. “Productivity and Assessment in Libraries.”

Nov. 10:
University of Arizona School of Information and Library Resources and Library Science Graduate Student Symposium,
Tucson. “Change and Opportunities: Libraries in the New Millennium.”

Nov. 13–15:
Arizona Library Association,
Annual Conference, Mesa Convention Center. “Sharing Common Values.”

Nov. 13–15:
Indiana Library Federation,
Annual Conference, Indianapolis. “Building Community @ Your Library.”

Nov. 30–
Dec. 2:

Document Imaging and Document Management,
University of California at Los Angeles. UCLA Extension Course.

Jan. 23–24:
Canadian Association of Special Libraries and Information Services Ottawa Seminar,
Ottawa, Ontario. “The Value of Libraries.”

@ More...

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