The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | April 30,

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

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AL Buyers Guide

U.S. & World News

The library in Stapley Junior High School, Mesa, ArizonaMesa seeks alternatives to eliminating school librarians
Reacting to concerns voiced by library advocates over its decision to eliminate all 87 of its school library media specialist positions over the next three years, the board of the Mesa (Ariz.) Public School District has called for alternative suggestions for dealing with the district’s budgetary crisis. At an April 22 meeting, school board President Rich Crandall asked the library supporters in attendance to send him “fresh and concrete ideas” over the next two weeks, said Ann Ewbank, education liaison librarian at Arizona State University in Phoenix....

City banners featuring Bridgeport Public LibraryBridgeport mayor proposes 25% cut in library budget
Mayor Bill Finch has proposed a $1.1-million cut in next year’s funding for Bridgeport (Conn.) Public Library. The 25% reduction in the operating budget would require laying off one-third of the staff and the likely closing of branches. City Librarian Scott Hughes said the cuts would “essentially shut all four branches” and added that the current economic picture makes the timing of the cuts particularly bad....

Iowa Senate rejects movie-loaning restrictions
The Iowa state Senate voted 31–17 April 23 against an amendment to an education appropriations bill that would have prohibited libraries that receive state funds from loaning R-rated films to children under 18....

The Gulfport Public Library, shortly after Hurricane Katrina. Photo posted on the Dewey Donation System blogPost-Katrina preservationists fight on in Gulfport
Almost three years after Hurricane Katrina ripped through the Gulf of Mexico, a determined group of architectural preservationists in Gulfport, Mississippi, is fighting to save Harrison County (Miss.) Public Library’s devastated Gulfport Public Library (right) from the wrecking ball. The activists, who have formed We the People, met April 23 with legal counsel to strategize their next move as an April 29 deadline loomed for receiving bids to demolish the downtown beachfront facility, whose first floor was ruined....

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ALA News

Title of Internet Connectivity in U.S. Public LibrariesNew brief on public library internet connectivity
In the first of a series of reports related to technology access in U.S. public libraries, the ALA Office for Research and Statistics is drawing attention to challenges and opportunities related to available bandwidth for patron internet access and online library services. The issues brief draws from national data published in the Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study. Internet Connectivity in U.S. Public Libraries (PDF file) describes the range of services public libraries broker on behalf of their users....

Cover of Regional Library Cooperatives and the Future of BroadbandRegional library cooperatives and high-speed internet
The Office for Information Technology Policy has released Regional Library Cooperatives and the Future of Broadband (PDF file), a report detailing the best practices, successful strategies, and challenges of regional library cooperatives as they help libraries obtain high-speed connectivity. RLCs are key institutions in promoting and supporting high-speed broadband in libraries, especially for rural and less affluent areas....
District Dispatch, Apr. 25

Portion of ALA 2008 Annual Conference artwork2008 Empowerment for Library Support Staff
The surf’s up in Anaheim, and all library support staff are invited to Ride the Wave to Empowerment at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference, June 28–29. No bikinis or Speedos are required to hear about customer service from the professionals at Disney; learn about workplace safety from nationally known security expert Warren Graham; or find out how to think on your feet and avoid the ever looming Dysfunction Junction, with popular speakers Gail Johnson and Pam Parr from Face to Face Communications....

Library Legislative Day: What to know before you go
At an April 16 webinar presented by the Washington Office, advocacy guru Stephanie Vance shared some excellent ways library staff can not only prepare for Library Legislative Day on May 13–14, but also prepare for other other advocacy efforts at any level of government. Vance covered five planning steps for National Legislative Day....
BlogJunction, Apr. 17

ALA staffer Donovan Vicha's Second Life avatar, Oberon OctagonSocial networking at ALA
Mary Ghikas writes: “Active participation in the conversations that keep an association live have a long history at ALA, but over the last few years, that participation has become increasingly varied and diverse. I realized my current sense of the volume of social networking and online community activity at ALA was ‘lots’ and ‘more’—generally correct, but hardly specific. So, I went in search of some data. Here’s what I found—and it represents an impressive contribution from both members and staff.”...
ALA Marginalia, Apr. 30

Ozzie Smith PSAs available in Second Life
Public service announcements featuring baseball hall of famer Ozzie Smith, spokesperson for Step Up to the Plate @ your library, are now available in Second Life. In the PSAs Smith discusses the Step Up to the Plate program and the value of libraries. Librarians in Second Life can visit the ALA Island to watch the videos at the Public Information Office kiosk....

Internal Revenue Service logoIRS thanks libraries for public service
On April 24, ALA received a letter from the Internal Revenue Service congratulating us on the 50th anniversary of National Library Week and thanking libraries for their continued excellent service to the public. Kathy K. Petronchak wrote: “We appreciate the important role libraries play in meeting individual needs for tax help and information. A recent example is the excellent assistance librarians provided to taxpayers entitled to Economic Stimulus payments. We are now strengthening our partnership with libraries in a new area, meeting the unique needs of small business tax filers.”...
District Dispatch, Apr. 29

Portion of Google ALA-accredited program mapFind an ALA-accredited LIS program near you
The Office for Accreditation has created a Google map that shows the locations of all ALA-accredited LIS schools. The map includes main campus locations as well as other locations where the entire degree can be completed, and it offers links to each school’s entry in the office’s directory of accredited programs....

Changes in ALA-accredited LIS programs, 2006–2007
Karen O’Brien summarizes all the changes in full-time faculty numbers, student enrollment, and funding for ALA-accredited programs between fall 2006 and fall 2007. Data were extracted from statistical trend spreadsheets prepared by the ALA Office for Accreditation, based on information that institutions provide to the Association for Library and Information Science Education and the office annually by December 1....
Prism 16, no. 1 (Spring 2008)

AL Focus

John Chrastka spells "Conference"Your Annual Conference and you
Gee willikers! Check out this swell 1950s-style educational film that gives you the A-B-Cs of having a jim-dandy time at ALA Annual Conference. It’s packed with so many super tips that every Billy and Sue out there will exclaim, “Golly! Can we watch it again?” Yes indeedy, you can! (Stick around afterwards for a few bloopers, too.) Hosted by John Chrastka and filmed by AL’s Daniel Kraus....

Booklist Online logo

Cover of Final TheoryFeatured review: Adult books
Alpert, Mark. Final Theory. June 2008. 384p. Simon & Schuster/Touchstone, hardcover (978-1-4165-7287-9).
Although David Swift wanted to become a scientist like his beloved professor, Dr. Hans Kleinman, he couldn’t manage the math. Instead, he wrote a best-selling book about Albert Einstein. Now Swift is shocked to learn that his elderly mentor has been brutally tortured. With his dying breaths, Kleinman tells Swift that, contrary to common knowledge, Einstein did complete his unified field theory, but the consequences were so catastrophic, he kept it secret. Now the feds and the sadistic Chechnyan who attacked Kleinman will do anything to secure Einstein’s secret formula. Accordingly, Swift must live up to his name, outrun his vicious assailants, and find Einstein’s hidden notebooks. With the help of cool-under-pressure Monique Reynolds, a resourceful African American physicist, Swift leads a wildly choreographed chase....

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

Anaheim Update

Exhibits Round Table logoThe ERT silent auction goes Hollywood
Sponsor a donation to the Exhibits Round Table silent auction in Anaheim and your company name, logo, and product will appear on the official conference program’s silent auction page and receive other free publicity. If you don’t have something with a Hollywood theme, you can pair your product with another that does (such as movie tickets for a year or a wide-screen TV). Fill out the online donation form by May 1 to be included in all of the print promotions. Revenue from the auction will help fund ALA scholarships....

Share your Annual Conference photos and opinions
All attendees and exhibitors at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference are welcome to share photos and memories with the library community. The Flickr Group for attendees and exhibitors is up and running. Tag your photos as ALA2008, ALAAnnual2008, or ALAinAnaheim. Do you write a blog? Add it to the list of official annual conference blogs....

Raymond Chandler with his catRaymond Chandler LA bus tour
Esotouric is offering a special edition of its Raymond Chandler In A Lonely Place bus tour July 1 exclusively for ALA members, departing from Anaheim for points noir. City Lights Books has donated 10 copies of its Los Angeles anthology Another City to be raffled off among the passengers. The tour will dig deep into Chandler’s life and his fiction in downtown Los Angeles, featuring stops at the Oviatt Building, Lady in The Lake’s Treloar Building, the Barclay Hotel (aka the Van Nuys, site of the icepick murder in The Little Sister), Bunker Hill, and Union Station....
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Division News

Register for the LITA National Forum
Online registration is available beginning May 1 for the 2008 LITA National Forum, “Technology and Community: Building the Techno Community Library,” October 16–19 at the Hilton Netherland Plaza Hotel, Cincinnati, Ohio. Keynote sessions will include speakers Michael Porter, community product manager for WebJunction, and R. David Lankes, director of the Information Institute of Syracuse University....

ALSC National Institute logo for 2008ALSC National Institute registration open
Registration for the ALSC 2008 National Institute is now open with a discounted rate for students and special early-bird pricing for ALSC members through June 30. The institute, to take place September 18–20 at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center, Utah, is designed for youth library staff, children’s literature experts, and education and library school faculty....

Teens’ Top Ten nominations
Nominations for YALSA’s annual Teens’ Top Ten are now available (PDF file). The division encourages teens to read the 26 nominees before the national TTT vote, which will take place during Teen Read Week, October 12–18. Nominated titles were published between January 2007 and March 15, 2008, and chosen by the 15 teen book groups in YALSA’s YA Galley Project....

YALSA seeks teen book groups for Teens’ Top Ten
YALSA is accepting applications from young adult book discussion groups who wish to be considered for YALSA’s YA Galley/Teens’ Top Ten project. YA Galley is an ongoing project in which publishers of young adult books provide copies of their recent titles to teen book discussion groups in libraries. In exchange, teen readers evaluate books for the publishers. The YA Galley committee will select 15 groups during the ALA’s Annual Meeting in Anaheim this June....

Read for the fun of it during Teen Read Week
YALSA has launched Teen Read Week 2008 with a theme of “Books with Bite @ your library,” encouraging teens to read, just for the fun of it. Teen Read Week is October 12–18....

Thousands celebrate Teen Tech Week
More than 1,500 libraries across the country celebrated their nonprint and technological resources for teens during this year’s Teen Tech Week, March 2–8, which used the theme “Tune In @ your library.” Next year, TTW will take place March 8–14 with the theme “Press Play @ your library.”...

Panel of preservation professionals at Anaheim
The ALCTS Preservation Issues in Small to Mid-sized Libraries Discussion Group will host a panel of representatives from five preservation service providers (Amigos, MACC, NCPC, NEDCC, and SOLINET) at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel in Anaheim on June 29. Each member of the group will provide a 10-minute overview of their services and then answer questions....

Cover of Information Literacy Instruction HandbookNew ACRL titles
ACRL’s new Information Literacy Instruction Handbook is designed primarily for librarians new to teaching or managing information literacy instruction. It also serves as a one-stop refresher source on key topics for more experienced librarians. Edited by Christopher N. Cox and Elizabeth Blakesley Lindsay, the handbook was developed under the aegis of the ACRL Instruction Section. ACRL also has a new title in its CLIP Note series, on copyright policies. Compiled by Patricia Keogh and Rachel Crowley, the monograph serves as a resource for the creation or updating of academic library and campus copyright policies....

Library instruction chefs wanted
Doug Cook and Ryan Sittler are working on an ACRL Library Instruction Cookbook that will contain recipes (i.e., assignments) suitable for undergraduate students who are learning library research techniques. Proposals must be emailed to Doug and Ryan by May 15. If your proposal is accepted, it will need to be ready by December 31. The cookbook will debut at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago....
Library Instruction Cookbook

Round Table News

What is a “learning commons”? (PDF file)
Billie Peterson at Baylor University answers that question in the Library Instruction Round Table newsletter: “Where an information commons is/was used for knowledge seeking, a learning commons is used for knowledge creation. The library remains the most viable location for these learning spaces because of its rich body of resources and, more importantly, because of the continued intrinsic value of the library as a vibrant academic life center.”...
LIRT News, Mar., p. 8


Office dA architects won an adaptive reuse award for their work on the Fleet Library at the Rhode Island School of DesignLibrary Interior Design Competition
LAMA and the International Interior Design Association have selected nine winners and two honorable mentions from projects submitted to the 2008 Library Interior Design Competition. The biennial awards honor excellence in library interior design, incorporating aesthetics, design creativity, function, and satisfaction of the client’s objectives....

2008 Diversity Research Grants: Deadline extended
The ALA Office for Diversity has extended its deadline for proposals for the 2008 Diversity Research Grants to May 19. The grant consists of a one-time $2,000 award for original research and a $500 travel grant to attend and present at ALA Annual Conference. Electronic proposals are preferred and should be submitted in a Word document attachment....

Amy Van Scoy and Hyun-Duck ChungEleanora Dubicki

Three winners of RUSA Emerald Research Grants
Two $5,000 cash awards donated by Emerald Group Publishing have gone to three librarians to support research in business librarianship. Amy Van Scoy and Hyun-Duck Chung (left and center) of North Carolina State University in Raleigh will perform research on virtual reference transcripts. Eleonora Dubicki (right) of Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey, will look at the research needs of business students....

Apply for a Braddom scholarship
The deadline for submitting applications for the Diana V. Braddom FRFDS Scholarship, administered by LAMA’s Fundraising and Financial Development Section, is December 5. Librarians and library staff members eager to enhance their fundraising skills through formal financial development training are invited to submit an application essay. Recipients will be notified by March 15, 2009....

Cynthia OzickPEN Nabokov Award goes to Cynthia Ozick
The PEN American Center has awarded American novelist Cynthia Ozick its Nabokov Award, which celebrates the accomplishments of a living author whose body of work represents achievement in a variety of literary genres and is of enduring originality and consummate craftsmanship. Ozick is the author of Quarrel and Quandary (2000), Heir to the Glimmering World (2004), and Dictation (2008). This and the other PEN Awards will be presented in New York on May 19 at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center....
PEN American Center, Apr. 24

Philip Reeve's A Darkling Plain won the LA Times prize for YA fictionLos Angeles Times Book Prizes
The Los Angeles Times honored 2007’s most accomplished authors at its 28th annual Book Prizes ceremony at UCLA’s Royce Hall, held on the eve of the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. Gay Talese served as master of ceremonies for the event that drew many of the biggest names in the book world and honored Maxine Hong Kingston with the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement....
Los Angeles Times, Apr. 25

Cover of God Is DeadYoung Lions Fiction Award
The Young Lions of the New York Public Library gave their eighth annual Fiction Award April 28 to Ron Currie Jr. for his novel God is Dead. Finalists in the contest for writers under 35 were Ellen Litman (The Last Chicken in America), Peter Nathaniel Malae (Teach the Free Man), Dinaw Mengestu (The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears), and Emily Mitchell (The Last Summer of the World). Passages from the novels were read by actor Ethan Hawke and his friends....
New York Times, Apr. 29

Cover of The Escape of Oney JudgeJane Addams Children’s Book Awards
The Jane Addams Peace Association announced the winners of the 2008 Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards April 28. The Escape of Oney Judge: Martha Washington’s Slave Finds Freedom, written and illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully and published by Farrar Strauss Giroux, was the winner in the Books for Younger Children category....
Jane Addams Peace Association, Apr. 28

Sparky award trophySecond Annual Sparky Video awards
Six library, student, and advocacy organizations have announced the Second Annual Sparky Awards, a contest that recognizes the best new short videos on the value of access to scholarly research by inviting students to express their views creatively. This year’s contest is organized by SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) with additional cosponsorship by ACRL, the Association of Research Libraries, Penn Libraries (at the University of Pennsylvania), Students for Free Culture, and The Student PIRGs. Entries must be received by November 30....
Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, Apr. 30

2008 Be Innovative! awards
Library automation software company Innovative Interfaces announced the winners of its 2008 Be Innovative! Awards April 28 at the Innovative Users Group Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. Ryerson University Library in Toronto won first place for an application that enables users to access the library catalog from a Facebook page, and Birmingham (Ala.) Public Library was recognized for using WebBridge Link Resolver to link its OPAC to
Innovative Interfaces, Apr. 28

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Seen Online

Grateful Dead Memorial Day Ball poster featuring Ron "Pigpen" McKernan from UC Santa Barbara, May 29, 1969. Photo courtesy of Grateful Dead archiveGrateful Dead archives to UC Santa Cruz
The archives of the Bay Area rock band The Grateful Dead—a treasure trove of more than 30 years of memorabilia that includes the band’s first recording contract, life-size skeletons of band members, and artwork hand-made by its fans—are headed to the University of California, Santa Cruz, where they will be displayed at McHenry Library. The archive, which occupied 2,000 square feet of a Marin warehouse, has been tended all these years by Eileen Law, who was hired in 1972 to take care of the Deadheads, the band’s casually formed fan club....
San Francisco Chronicle, Apr. 24

First edition (1908) of Anne of Green GablesAnne of Green Gables still enchants
Julia Keller writes: “Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables was published in June 1908, which means that very soon it will be a century old. She ultimately would write 24 novels, including seven more about Anne’s adventures on Prince Edward Island, and her tales have held up well across the decades. There is a good deal of artistry in the books, but it is so seamlessly deployed that young readers likely won’t notice it—an enormous tribute to the author’s skills.”...
Chicago Tribune, Apr. 27

Cover of The Leopard by Giuseppe di Lampedusa, one of the cult booksThe 50 best cult books
The Telegraph presents its selection of history’s most notable cult writing. What is a cult book? Cult books include some of the most cringe-making collections of bilge ever collected between hard covers. But they also include many of the key texts of modern feminism; some of the best journalism and memoirs; and some of the most entrancing and original novels in the canon. In compiling their list, the editors were looking for the sort of book that people wear like a leather jacket or carry around like a totem....
The Telegraph (U.K.), Apr. 25

Vermont law would shield library records
Lawmakers in Montpelier took action this week on the confidentiality of library records. A bill passed by the Vermont House this week—a measure that has already passed the Senate—would make it clear in state law that only a court order from a judge could force the release of a library patron’s records. State law right now would allow a librarian to release the records as she sees fit. Debate on the floor of the House centered on a provision that would prohibit parents from accessing the library records of a child under the age of 16....
Barre Montpelier (Vt.) Times Argus, Apr. 30

Emeric Spooner, a still from the Boston Chronicle videoMaine librarian probes 110-year-old murder
Most people would assume that after 110 years, a murder trail would have run cold. Not Emeric Spooner, assistant librarian at the Buck Memorial Library in Bucksport, Maine, who has spent the past two years researching the grisly, unsolved murder of Sarah Ware in the village on October 2, 1898. In March, Spooner’s research on the subject culminated in his first book, In Search of Sarah Ware, which he wrote to clear up some of the myths surrounding the murder. Watch a video (1:50) on the topic....
Ellsworth (Maine) American, Apr. 24; Boston Chronicle, July 27, 2007

Florida library patrons on edge after assault
Three days after an 18-year-old woman returning books was attacked, patrons at Bloomingdale Regional branch of the Hillsborough County Public Library in Valrico said they have become more cautious and plan to change their visiting habits. The unnamed victim in the April 24 attack was a local high school senior who had just turned 18. Police arrested a 16-year-old high school freshman April 27 as a suspect in the woman’s rape and beating. Library Director Joe Stines said he would look into installing security cameras outside some of the county’s 25 library branches....
Tampa (Fla.) Tribune, Apr. 28–29; St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, Apr. 28

Law library users barred from Martinsburg facility
Eastern West Virginians in need of valuable legal resources and research assistance literally have been locked out of a publicly funded regional law library for more than a year, according to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Librarian Kaye L. Maerz. She could not explain why the high court last year stopped her effort to fill the full-time librarian position at Berkeley County Judicial Center in Martinsburg, vacant since January 2007....
Martinsburg (W.Va.) Herald-Mail, Apr. 27

Salinas library advocates push for funds
Just how much money the city of Salinas will spend next year on its library system and other vital city services remain in question. After hearing impassioned pleas April 28 to provide the Salinas (Calif.) Public Library system with more Measure V funding, an oversight committee for the half-cent sales tax postponed completing its budget recommendations to the city council. Library Director Elizabeth Martinez outlined three funding options for the library system, each at a different cost and with different potential results....
Salinas Californian, Apr. 29

William Coday, from Court TVFormer librarian on Death Row commits suicide
A former Broward County librarian who fatally bludgeoned his ex-girlfriend with a hammer in 1997 was found dead in his cell on Death Row at Union Correctional Institution in Raiford, Florida, April 28. William Coday bled to death after cutting himself, his lawyer George Reres said, adding that Coday had a history of suicide attempts. Coday had met his victim Gloria Gomez at the Broward County Library, where he worked as a foreign languages librarian....
Fort Lauderdale South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Apr. 28; United Press International, Apr. 29

Scanning rare books for Google Book Search
In a dimly lit back room on the second level of the University of Michigan library’s book-shelving department, Courtney Mitchel helps a giant desktop machine digest a rare, centuries-old Bible. Mitchel is among hundreds of librarians from Minnesota to England making digital versions of the most fragile of the books to be included in Google Book Search. The manual scanning is much slower than Google’s normal process....
Associated Press, Apr. 25

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Tech Talk

ChaCha logo on t-shirtFree web reference questions answered by cellphone
ChaCha is a free cellphone service that lets you ask any question answerable via a web search, using almost any cellphone, by simply making a voice call. Just dial (800) 224-2242 and state your question. In a few minutes, you’ll get an answer via text message from one of 10,000 hired “guides”—students, stay-at-home parents, retirees, and others—who look up the questions on the Web and reply. They get paid 20 cents per answer. (Perhaps libraries should have thought of this?)...
Wall Street Journal, Apr. 24

Still from Podcasting in Plain English videoPodcasting in plain English
Despite being around for years, podcasting is often misunderstood. This video (3:00) is Common Craft’s way of building awareness and adoption of a technology that any computer user can use: As Lee LeFever explains, “Podcasting means we don’t have to depend on traditional media.”...
Common Craft, Apr. 21

Still from Clay Shirky's talkWhere do you find the time for all this stuff?
Where do people find the time to do things like edit Wikipedia? They watch less television, says author Clay Shirky in a fascinating talk (16:30) at the Web 2.0 Expo in April. Shirky makes a compelling case that people are just learning how to deal with the “cognitive surplus” of free time modern life affords us. We’re waking up from the “collective bender” of mindlessly watching sitcoms and instead, we’re choosing instead to spend our free time volunteering, interacting, and Web 2.0’ing...., Apr. 25

Google to dive deep into the ocean
Elinor Mills writes: “Google has assembled an advisory group of oceanography experts, and in December invited researchers from institutions around the world to the Mountain View Googleplex. There, they discussed plans for creating a 3D oceanographic map, according to sources familiar with the matter. The tool—for now called Google Ocean, though that name could change—is expected to be similar to other 3D online mapping applications.”...
C|net News blog, Apr. 30

orbiTouch Keyless Ergonomic KeyboardTop 10 strangest keyboards
Jennifer L. DeLeo writes: “Specialized features like LED backlighting and ergonomic design have become the standard in today’s keyboards, which means that there’s plenty of room for a new crop of strange keyboards to emerge into the peripheral scene. For the past week, I’ve hunted down the most unusual and ridiculous keyboards—and I came pretty close to Ctrl+Alt+Deleting some of them from my head.” At right is the orbiTouch Keyless Ergonomic Keyboard for those with repetitive strain injury, which allows the use of hands and arms instead of fingers to type....
PC Magazine, Apr. 25

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Actions & Answers

Oregon harmful-to-minors law challenged
Under a new Oregon law (ORS 167.054), a grandmother who gives her 7-year-old grandson a copy of It’s Perfectly Normal could be charged with providing materials that are “sexually explicit” to a minor. And under that and a second new law (ORS 167.057), booksellers, librarians, community-based organizations, health-care providers, parents, and other family members also are at risk, potentially facing jail time and hefty fines up to $125,000. The ACLU of Oregon has joined Powell’s Books in Portland and others in challenging these laws....
American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, Apr. 28

Sign for Copenhagen Public LibraryLast chance for ULC European Study Tour
The Urban Libraries Council will lead a tour of four public library systems in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden, October 6–11. It will include visits to the new central library in Amsterdam and the Library Concept Center in Delft. Participants will then migrate to Copenhagen to meet Danish colleagues and participate in an international symposium hosted by the Copenhagen Public Libraries, followed by a trip to Malmö, Sweden. The last day to register for this tour is May 1....
Urban Libraries Council

Wii in the library
Angela Reynolds writes: “Last night we held our first Wii program, at a very small branch of the Annapolis Valley Regional Library in Nova Scotia. I’m talking so small that when 15 people show up for a program, you start to worry where to put them. In a town of around 1,000 (this includes the farms and small communities nearby), we had just that—15 people show up to play and see what Wii is all about. This quote, priceless—‘Wow, I’ve never been here before.’ (This from the mouth of a 10-year-old boy.)”...
ALSC Blog, Apr. 29

Number of bloggers growing rapidly
Jacqui Cheng writes: “Some may believe that the blogging trend has already reached its peak, but new research from Universal McCann says otherwise. The media communications agency has published its Wave 3 report, after having interviewed 17,000 representative internet users from around the world on their use of social media. The report points out that the trends of both reading and writing for blogs are still growing.”...
Ars Technica, Apr. 29

James FreyJames Frey’s morning after
What’s it like to write a mega-selling memoir, then become a household word for “liar”? Was James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces an ex-junkie’s con job, part of a proud literary tradition, or just the standard hype of an increasingly embattled publishing industry? In his first U.S. interview since Oprah nailed him, in 2006, Frey tells his version of the story, including how his new novel, his family, and the late Norman Mailer helped him survive the resulting maelstrom. Frey will be an Auditorium Speaker at ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, June 29....
Vanity Fair, June

25 ways libraries can support a book group
Neil Hollands writes: “Libraries need to recognize book group readers as one of their core audiences, a population that deserves extra-mile service. Here’s my list of 25 ways that a library can support book groups. Consider adding one or two of the practices from this list to your repertoire.”...
Book Group Buzz, Apr. 23

How to create a Twitter conference feed
Michael Sauers writes: “For three conferences now, I’ve created a Twitter RSS feed for those who are not at the conference to read the posts of those that are. The method or system isn’t perfect but I think I’ve got the major bugs worked out. So here’s how you do it.”...
The Travelin’ Librarian, Apr. 19

Virtual reference survey
Do you provide reference assistance using instant messaging or integrated virtual reference software? Anne-Marie Deitering and Kate Gronemyer at Oregon State University are conducting a survey on librarians’ attitudes towards instruction during virtual reference transactions. The survey is anonymous and should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete. Responses will be collected through May 5....
Oregon State University

Scholarpedia logoMaking wikis work for scholars
For all the hand-wringing over whether Wikipedia is a legitimate source for completing college assignments, some professors are quietly incorporating it into their classrooms and even their research. Others, noting features of the website that contribute to inaccuracies and short-change the value of expertise, are building variations on the model that are more amenable to academics and to peer review....
Inside Higher Ed, Apr. 28

Still from The Bibliofiles performance videoThe Bibliofiles perform at TLA
Austin Public Library’s book-cart drill team, The Bibliofiles, maneuver their way into the statewide winning spot at the Texas Library Association conference in Dallas, April 16, captured for all time in this video (7:06). Their win earns them a shot for the world championship title at ALA Annual Conference in Ahaheim, California, June 29, sponsored by DEMCO....
YouTube, Apr. 23

Carl Sagan describes the Library of AlexandriaCarl Sagan on the Library at Alexandria
In this segment (10:33) from the first episode of the 1980 PBS series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, astronomer Carl Sagan discusses the ancient library of Alexandria (“once the brain and glory of the greatest city on the planet Earth”) and fantasizes about reading the lost books it once held....
Cosmos, “The Shores of the Cosmic Ocean,” Sept. 28, 1980

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ALA Annual Conference logo

ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California, June 26–July 2. Don’t miss these special events in Anaheim: The ALA/ProQuest Scholarship Bash at the Disneyland Resort and the SupER Tuesday Closing Reception on the Exhibits Floor!

Spring-Summer 2008 ALA Editions catalog

View or request a Spring/Summer 2008 catalog of all the available ALA Editions titles. NEW! From ALA Editions.

In this issue
April 2008

Cover of April 2008 issue of AL

Going for the Green

Library Design Showcase

Makeover at the Mansion

Learning Side by Side

Homegrown Superstars Say READ to Succeed

Election 2008 logo

The ALA election polls have closed, and the votes are being tallied. Results will be announced on Friday, May 2. A total of 17,089 members voted (29%), compared to 15,031 (27%) in 2007. Only 1,434 members completed a paper ballot this year.

Career Leads from
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Director, Iron Range Research Center, Ironworld Discovery Center, Chisholm, Minnesota. Do you have a mix of public and academic library experience? Do you love history and genealogy? The Iron Range Research Center, located in Minnesota’s north woods near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and thousands of square miles of trackless forests, seeks a dynamic Director with the vision to lead the drive to improve access to collections....

@ More jobs...

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Watch new records added to WorldCat every 8 seconds.

Digital Library of the Week

Photograph of John Lum, the first Chinese schoolteacher at the Chinese school, Augusta, Richmond County, Georgia, 1929 or 1930. From the Vanishing Georgia collection, Georgia Archives

The Digital Library of Georgia is a gateway to Georgia’s history and culture found in digitized books, manuscripts, photographs, government documents, newspapers, maps, audio, video, and other resources. DLG connects users to 500,000 digital objects in 105 collections from 60 institutions and 100 government agencies. Though this represents only a fraction of Georgia’s cultural treasures, DLG continues to grow through its partnerships with libraries, archives, museums, government agencies, and allied organizations across the state. Based at the University of Georgia Libraries, the Digital Library of Georgia is an initiative of GALILEO, the state’s virtual library. Recent additions include materials on the 1936 Gainesville tornado, industrial films of the Georgia Marble Company, the Athens Woman’s Club and social reform, the University of Georgia Bumble-bee (1889–1902), and the Georgia Official and Statistical Register (1922–1990).

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

“However nimbly they have adapted, modernised, lost books and gained technology, become determinedly ‘functional’ as invaluable resource centres rather than bookstores, the libraries are always needing to boost their profile. They need more borrowers and yet one of their biggest problems, in my experience, is that ‘borrowing’ is not a readily understood modern concept, however well-embedded it was in Carnegie’s day.”

—Julia Eccleshare, children’s books editor for The Guardian, in “Whatever Happened to Book Borrowers?” The Guardian Books Blog, Apr. 29.

Volunteer Verna-Bond Broderick helps out in New Orleans with the Libraries Build Communities project. Photo by Jackson Hill

Help build a community in Anaheim

Volunteer for this day-long service project, Libraries Build Communities (Friday, June 27), and help make a huge difference to schools and libraries drastically affected by cuts in staff and budgets. Register now ($10 fee is contributed to local library funds; lunch and a T-shirt included). Volunteers can choose their projects: distributing food, cataloging, inventorying, archiving, designing a bulletin board, cleaning up a catalog, and many others.

Ask the ALA Librarian

Call numbers on books

Q. Does ALA have any guidelines or sample policies for labeling books for the shelves?

A. Although ALA has established standards and guidelines for a range of library activities, none of these cover shelf preparation or physical processing of library materials. Consistent practices, which library users have become accustomed to, do exist nevertheless. Starting in 1911, the ALA Publishing Board published 32 pamphlets as the Manual of Library Economy, including one for the “Shelf Department” with instructions for book-labels (“An increasing number of libraries now write the call number directly on the book itself using India ink”). Similarly, John Cotton Dana, while director of the Springfield (Mass.) City Library, covered the subject in his Library Primer (1900), Melville Dewey included the topic in his Simplified Library School Rules (1912), and Esther J. Piercy included a chapter on “Physical Preparation of Library Materials” in Commonsense Cataloging (1965). Current technical processing management, however, frequently involves the specification of practices in order to contract for preprocessing from a vendor and the ongoing and iterative process of cost analysis, and the resources for those areas may be helpful for analyzing local practices. See the ALA Professional Tips wiki for more.

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.


May 28–30:

Center for Intellectual Property,
8th Annual Intellectual Property Symposium, University of Maryland University College, Adelphi, Maryland. “Monopoly: Playing the Innovation Game.” Early bird registration until May 9. Contact: CIP, (240) 582-2803.

June 8–10:
Canadian Learning Commons 3rd Annual Conference,
University of New Brunswick, Fredericton.

June 9–11,
Summer Camp for School Librarians,
Alliance Library System, East Peoria, Illinois. Contact: Angie Green.

June 16–20:
Joint Conference on Digital Libraries,
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “Bridging Culture, Bridging Technology.”

June 22–25:
Association of Jewish Libraries,
Annual Convention, Marriott Cleveland East, Ohio.

June 27:
One Big Library Unconference,
Centre for Social Innovation, Toronto. Sponsored by members of the Emerging Technologies Interest Group at York University Libraries. A one-day gathering of librarians, technologists, and other interested people, talking about the present and future of libraries. Contact: One Big Unconference.

June 29–
July 2:

International Society for Technology in Education,
National Educational Computing Conference, Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center, San Antonio, Texas.

July 1–4:
Ligue des Bibliothèques Europeénnes de Recherche,
Map Curators Group Conference, Amsterdam. “The Future of the Map Library and the Map Librarian.”

July 9:
Mid-Atlantic Digital Library Conference,
Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

July 9–10:
Ohio Library Council, Reference and Adult Services Conference, Columbus.

July 12–15:
American Association of Law Libraries,
Annual Meeting, Portland, Oregon. “Energize, Explore, Evolve!”

July 20–22:
Church and Synagogue Library Association,
National Conference, Greenville Hilton, South Carolina. “Congregational Collections, Carolina Connections.”

July 23–24:
Wisconsin Library Services,
WiLSWorld 2008 Conference, Madison, Wisconsin.

July 24–27:
Digipalooza: OverDrive User Group Conference,

July 30–
Aug. 1:

Ex Libris Users of North America,
Annual Meeting, California State University, Long Beach.

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