The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | December 24,

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

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AL Buyers Guide

U.S. & World News

Proposed new Central Library for San Diego PLSan Diego hopes joint-use proposal will save its state grant
Almost 10 years and two mayors since San Diego officials first envisioned building a $130-million new downtown Main Library (right), city officials are scrambling to extend the December 31 state deadline for securing enough funds to keep a $20-million state library grant awarded in 2003 toward construction of the now $185-million facility. San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and San Diego Unified School District Board President Sheila Jackson have proposed that the district inject $20 million into the fund so it can build a 300-student “niche” high school with a separate entrance on the first two floors of the building....
American Libraries Online, Dec. 23

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ALA News

ALA submits report to Obama-Biden Transition Team
The ALA Washington Office prepared a report on the library community’s key issues and concerns, Opening the “Window to a Larger World”: Libraries’ Role in Changing America (PDF file), and submitted it to the Obama-Biden Transition Team on December 17. The Washington Office hopes to continue this open dialogue with the administration over the next four years....
District Dispatch, Dec. 18

National Library Legislative Day buttonNational Library Legislative Day 2009
The 2009 National Library Legislative Day is quickly approaching and will be held on May 11–12 at the Liaison Hotel in Washington, D.C. Make sure to sign up early—while ALA has reserved a block of rooms at the hotel, they always go quickly and you’ll want to be at the center of the action....
District Dispatch, Dec. 22

Libraries stand ready to help
ALA President Jim Rettig writes: “When economic times get tough, the average American family’s solution is to get creative. In rethinking their budgets, many families across the country are turning to a familiar place—the public library. As one South Florida man discovered, canceling his home internet access and taking advantage of the free internet service offered at his local public library could save his family over $700 a year.”...
Huffington Post, Dec. 11

Midwinter Meeting event planner is up
The Midwinter event planner is now available and includes dates, times, and locations for all events. The planner is only available to fully registered attendees. To log in, use the email address you provided when you registered, and the generic password “ala.” You will be able to reset your password using the “My Profile” feature once you are logged in. If you are having trouble accessing the event planner, please contact Karee Williams....

Annual Conference registration opening moved
The first day of registration for the 2009 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago has been moved from Friday, January 2, to Monday, January 5. The change was made to accommodate the closing of the ALA office on January 2. Participants can register online through the ALA website, by fax, or by mail....

Connected Nation logoGates grant supports ALA broadband initiative
A pilot initiative by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will help public libraries in seven states secure faster internet connections so more people can access a full range of online applications and opportunities. The foundation has awarded $6.9 million in combined grant funding to Connected Nation, a nonprofit broadband internet advocacy group, and ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy. OITP will advise state library agencies and develop model case studies....

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dec. 18

Vernon Jordan Jr.Vernon Jordan lauds libraries
In this video interview (1:24), taken during ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California, Vernon E. Jordan Jr.—lawyer, civil rights leader, and close adviser to former President Bill Clinton—talks about the role of libraries, including segregated libraries, and librarians in shaping his life....
Visibility @ your library, Dec. 22

AL Focus

Margaret "Gigi" Lincoln accepts her I Love My Librarian Award. Still from the videoI Love My Librarian Award ceremony
Ten winners of the inaugural Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award were recognized at a ceremony hosted by the New York Times December 9 that is captured in this video (2:57). The award, administered by ALA’s Public Information Office and the Campaign for America’s Libraries, recognizes public, school, and college librarians for service to their communities, schools, and campuses....

Booklist Online logo

Cover of How to Talk to GirlsFeatured review: Books for youth
Greven, Alec. How to Talk to Girls. Dec. 2008. 48p. HarperCollins, hardcover (978-0-06-170999-9).
Some books just make your teeth ache. Books written by 9-year-olds about how to get it on with girls fall into that category. According to the PR story, this book began as a pamphlet author Greven sold at his school book fair. No word on how long the pamphlet was, but here it has grown to 48 pages. This couldn’t have been easy. There are only seven short chapters. Still, between the remembrances (“I had a crush on a girl in preschool. Then my family had to move, so I had to let her wash out of my mind”), the observations (“pretty girls . . . have the big earrings”), and the ruminations (“if you are the smartest kid in the class, you are like a magnet and the girls are the metal”), the pages do fill....

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

Denver Update

Cowboy Room, Black American West MuseumDenver’s African-American heritage
February may be the official Black History Month, but in Denver, the rich heritage of the city’s African-American residents past and present is celebrated year-round. The Mile High City and its outlying areas are home to three impressive museums centered on African American history and culture, as well as several other fascinating landmarks....
Visit Denver

Division News

Animal Fact Guide website is one added to Great Web Sites for KidsALSC adds to Great Web Sites
ALSC has added more recommended sites to Great Web Sites for Kids, its online resource containing hundreds of links to commendable websites for children. Links are organized by subject headings such as animals, literature and languages, the sciences, the arts, and the reference desk. There is a special section with sites of interest to parents, caregivers, and teachers, plus an area devoted to sites in Spanish....


Youth Media Awards on Twitter
For the first time ever, there will be a live Twitterstream for the 2009 Youth Media Awards as ALA, ALSC, and YALSA unveil the best in children’s and young adult literature and media during the Midwinter Meeting in Denver. Starting at 7:45 a.m. Mountain Time on Monday, January 26, followers of ALAyma on Twitter will get real-time updates on award winners as they are announced....

Soul of a People logo30 libraries receive Soul of a People grants
Thirty libraries will receive a $2,500 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to present five different outreach programs in connection with an upcoming documentary, Soul of a People: Voices from the Writers’ Project. Film and library outreach programs will acquaint public, academic, and special library audiences with the story of the largest cultural experiment in U.S. history—the Federal Writers’ Project—told against the backdrop of the Depression and 1930s America....

In defense of the Newbery Medal
Erica S. Perl writes: “Literary awards should do more than simply affirm books that are easy to love and would likely find fans regardless of a medal. They also serve as inspiration for authors to take creative risks, push boundaries, and even reinvent the form. In a time of publishing industry layoffs and cutbacks, when commercial promise is king, the Newbery Medal continues to offer hope for those of us who want to write and publish the odd, offbeat, and not always pretty stories that we believe in our hearts children will want to read.”...
Slate, Dec. 19

Dominican University supports a Spectrum scholar
The Dominican University Graduate School of Library and Information Science will provide $5,000 in matching scholarship funds to Elizabeth Hernandez, a 2008 ALA Spectrum Scholarship winner. Hernandez is pursuing an MLS at Dominican, which first offered matching scholarships to Spectrum recipients in its graduate program in library and information studies in 1999....

Larry CarverLarry Carver named LC Digital Preservation Pioneer
Larry Carver, retired director of library technologies and digital initiatives at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has been recognized for his work by the Library of Congress as a pioneer of digital preservation. Carver’s collection of maps, aerial photography, and satellite imagery eventually led to the establishment of the UCSB Map and Imagery Laboratory in 1979, and he spent years helping to develop a set of requirements that would produce the first geospatial digital collection (the Alexandria Digital Library)....
Santa Barbara (Calif.) Independent, Dec. 9; Library of Congress

Lisbeth BoutangChildren’s librarian wins national essay contest
Lisbeth Boutang, children’s librarian at Cloquet (Minn.) Public Library, has been named grand prize winner of the “What I Wish Everyone Knew About Librarians” essay contest, sponsored by Smart Poodle Publishing. Librarians from across the country were invited to write essays to tell the world what they want others to know about librarians. The three prize-winning essays and honorable mentions are posted on the publisher’s blog....
Cloquet (Minn.) Pine Journal, Dec. 15; Smart Poodle Blog, Dec. 15

Native American library grants
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is accepting applications for the 2009 Native American Library Services Basic Grants and Enhancement Grants. They are designed to help Native American libraries support their communities by improving their collections, establishing or enhancing technological capabilities, making holdings accessible to all users, and strengthening traditional library services....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Dec. 18

Seen Online

Chief Justice Roger Taney administers the oath of office to Abraham Lincoln in 1861 on the Lincoln Bible. From a 1912 printObama to take oath on Lincoln’s Bible
Barack Obama will be sworn into office with the same Bible that Abraham Lincoln used for his first inauguration in 1861. This will be the first time since then that an incoming president has used the 1853 Bible, purchased by the Clerk of the Supreme Court specially for Lincoln’s inauguration and now part of the collection at the Library of Congress. The Bible will be on display at LC from February 12 to May 9 as part of an exhibition titled “With Malice Toward None: The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition.”...
New York Times, Dec. 23

Music industry to abandon mass lawsuits
After years of suing thousands of people for allegedly stealing music via the internet, the Recording Industry Association of America is set to drop its legal assault as it searches for more effective ways to combat online music piracy. Instead, RIAA plans to send an email to an ISP when it finds that a provider’s customer is making music available online for others to take. The decision represents an abrupt shift of strategy for the industry, which has opened legal proceedings against about 35,000 people since 2003. But ISPs are starting to ask who will pay for the policing....
Wall Street Journal, Dec. 19; Ars Technica, Dec. 22

Lawsuit threatened over Philadelphia branch closings
A group of Philadelphians is threatening to sue Mayor Michael Nutter and the city to save 11 branch libraries from closing because of the city’s severe money crunch. Irv Ackelsberg, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, announced the planned class-action lawsuit December 18 on behalf of seven named plaintiffs at the Logan branch. Meanwhile, Nutter has submitted to the incoming Obama administration a $30-million stimulus-package request to build regional libraries in North and South Philadelphia—but nothing for the shuttered branches, four of which were nominated (PDF file) December 22 to the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places....
Philadelphia Inquirer, Dec. 19, 20; Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia, Dec. 22

Olneyville branch of Providence Public Library, one of the five slated for closure. Photo by Jef NickersonNew Providence plan would close five branches
Five library branches would close by July but the downtown flagship and four other branches would remain open under a plan approved December 18 by the Providence Public Library board of trustees. The city must make one of four decisions by June 30: accept the library plan; take over the branch libraries itself; assign their stewardship to another entity; or maintain the current library system intact for one year and cover any deficits incurred....
Providence (R.I.) Journal, Dec. 19

Irvin Mayfield Jr. playing trumpet. Photo by Derek BridgesBehind-the-scenes shakeups in New Orleans
When the New Orleans Public Library released its 25-year master plan in the spring, nationwide praise rolled in for Board Chairman Irvin Mayfield Jr. But his moves as board leader have added to the tumult in the system. Four top-ranking librarians and the director of a library support foundation have all left as Mayfield, a Grammy nominee whose main gig is directing the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, conducted a major realignment that left him as the system’s chief administrator. While Mayfield downplays his control, it’s clear who’s in charge....
New Orleans Times-Picayune, Dec. 17

Christmas presents to library staff are unethical
After asking the state Board of Ethics in November whether library staff can accept inexpensive and homemade Christmas gifts from grateful patrons, St. Tammany Parish (La.) Library officials last week received the board’s response: Bah, humbug. Even small gifts, such as “cakes, pies, houseplants, etc., from patrons of the library for their performance of the library employees’ duties” are off-limits, according to the ethics board. Library officials and patrons are incensed....
New Orleans Times-Picayune, Dec. 22

Pastor Ron Elliott, from ABC newscastObama books okay for Catholic school library?
The pastor of a Blue Springs (Mo.) Catholic church recently pulled Barack Obama biographies from the school’s library, but on December 18 he said he’d put them back during the winter break. Two books about Obama had been added to the St. John LaLande Catholic Church school library collection. Fr. Ron Elliott (above) said he’d gotten complaints from parishioners because of Obama’s stance on abortion, even though the books mention nothing about it....
Kansas City (Mo.) Star, Dec. 19; ABC News, Dec. 18; Independence (Mo.) Examiner, Dec. 19

Ronda StormsStorms in a stew over Dewey
Florida state Sen. Ronda Storms (R-Valrico) railed against the Dewey Decimal Classification system during a December 17 budget hearing on state library aid, calling it “anachronistic,” costly, and just plain frustrating. “If Barnes and Noble organizes its books more simply, why can’t libraries?” Storms thundered. “A lot of little old librarians are going to have a heart attack that I even said that out loud,” she said. Storms also objected to libraries loaning copies of TV show episodes, such as Seinfeld....
Tampa (Fla.) Tribune, Dec. 19

Milt HathawayHathaway wins on Jeopardy
Milt Hathaway, librarian at Eastern View High School in Culpeper, Virginia, defends his title this week on the popular syndicated television show Jeopardy. Hathaway, originally from Newport, Rhode Island, became the champion December 18 with $38,401. He cinched victory in the Final Jeopardy round when he gave the correct question to the answer, “On April 29, 1861, he said, ‘We seek no conquest; all we ask is to be let alone.’”...
Fredericksburg (Va.) Free Lance-Star, Dec. 19

Europeana logoEuropeana reopens
The European Union’s new Europeana digital library reopened December 23 after crashing within hours of its launch in November due to surging interest. European Commission spokesman Martin Selmayr said the website was working after its server capacity had been quadrupled and it had been stress-tested to deal with user interest. However, a message on the site said that “the user experience may not be optimal.”...
PC Pro, Dec. 23; Agence France-Presse, Dec. 23

Runner attempts visit to every Seattle branch
For a guy who once ran 51 marathons in 50 days in 50 states, his venture on December 18 should have been a Sunday stroll for ultramarathoner Sam Thompson. If only the snow hadn’t gotten in the way. Thompson, who has been running for 15 years, had plans to run to all 27 Seattle library branches in one day—but bad weather foiled his plans and he only made it to 17, six of which had already closed....
Seattle Times, Dec. 19

North Face of the Miller Nichols Library Expansion ProjectUMKC expansion gets a boost
The Sunderland Foundation has awarded $1 million to the Miller Nichols Library expansion project at the University of Missouri–Kansas City. The money is designated for the expansion’s second phase, including creating classrooms, seminar rooms, a 300-seat lecture hall, and an open space to accommodate community members, faculty, and a growing student body of more than 14,000....
Kansas City (Mo.) Business Journal, Dec. 19

Mariners’ Museum ex-archivist gets four years
The former archivist at the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia, who stole thousands of museum documents and sold them on the internet, was sentenced December 17 to four years in prison. Lester F. Weber sold at least 3,500 documents—from collections he was supposed to oversee—on eBay under his wife’s name. The items included everything from brochures and boarding passes for old ships to a lawsuit against the company that owned the Titanic....
Newport News (Va.) Daily Press, Dec. 18

Unique prison library program
Prisoners at Saughton Prison in Edinburgh, Scotland, will soon be able to video themselves reading bedtime stories to send home to their children. The pilot scheme, called Storybook Dads, will allow fathers to be recorded on DVD reading stories to send home to help them bond with their children. If successful, the scheme could be extended to other jails. The new library at Saughton has also been supplied with laptops, a wider range of books, and for the first time has a trained librarian to help inmates get the most out of the facility....
The Telegraph (U.K.), Dec. 18

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Tech Talk

Dropbox logoJason Griffey’s top five most influential technologies
Jason Griffey writes: “In the spirit of the bazillion other year-end lists you will see over the coming weeks, I decided to list my Top 5 Most Influential Technologies of the year. These are the technologies that I think librarians need to be aware of, examine, and find uses for in their library. Not all of these started this year, but 2008 was the year they broke out and became necessities in many people’s lives.”...
ALA TechSource blog, Dec. 22

Things to look forward to in HTML 5
Jacob Gube writes: “HTML 5 is the upcoming major revision of the HyperText Markup Language, the main method of marking up content for sharing on the Web. HTML’s development stopped at HTML 4.01 in 1999, and since then web content has evolved so much that current specifications are inadequate for today’s requirements. HTML 5 will address the growing demand for more diverse and complex web content. In this post, we look at five exciting new features.”...
ReadWriteWeb, Dec. 18

Bloglines Beta logoWhich RSS reader is right for you?
Becky Krystal writes: “We’re talking about the wide world of really simple syndication, more pithily known as RSS. With the technology, web surfers can subscribe to their favorite sites to keep up with recently posted items. On some sites you may choose to be notified of every update, while on others you can limit updates to areas of particular interest to you. But choosing the right aggregator can be just as daunting as selecting what you want it to aggregate.”...
Washington Post, Dec. 21

Eleven things to do when YouTube is blocked
Joyce Valenza writes: “The fact is, YouTube is blocked in many of our schools. Every single day, many of us spend a good deal of time trying to figure out how to get the videos we need to use in our classrooms and libraries. I myself am a long-time sufferer of YouTube-block (despite my understanding of my district’s motivations) and I have developed a variety of strategies for treating the condition.”...
NeverEndingSearch, Dec. 19

Scarlet Pimpernel audiobook, from NokiaNokia audiobooks
Mary Burkey writes: “I predict that the mobile phone will soon become the One Device to Rule Them All—just one gadget to carry for phone calls, music, eBooks, photos, games, GPS, video, and more. But most importantly, our cell phone will be our audiobook playback device, with Bluetooth connectivity to radio and stereo and instant downloads from online vendors or public library. Nokia cell phone customers have a new upgrade that will make the transition easier. On the Nokia Blog, software developer (and audiobook fan) Janne Vainio describes the new audiobook software manager.”...
Audiobooker, Dec. 19; Nokia Blog, Dec. 19

If programming languages were religions
AMZ writes: “Lisp would be Zen Buddhism: There is no syntax, there is no centralization of dogma, there are no deities to worship. The entire universe is there at your reach—if only you are enlightened enough to grasp it. Some say that it’s not a language at all; others say that it’s the only language that makes sense.”...
Aegisub, Dec. 15


ScrollMotion eBookNew mobile eBook release
ScrollMotion, a New York mobile application developer, has concluded deals with a number of major publishing houses, and is in talks with several others, to produce newly released and best-selling eBooks as apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Publishers now on board include Houghton Mifflin, Simon and Schuster, Random House, Hachette, and Penguin Group USA. The first official books began to roll out December 22 and include such titles such as Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight and Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass....
Epicenter, Dec. 22

Cover of L. Frank Baum's The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus (1902)10 great Christmas stories
Jamie Frater writes: “In just a few days, Christmas will be with us once again. In celebration of this greatest of holidays, we have put together a follow-up list to our first Top 10 Christmas Books. With this selection, we have tried to pick books that are less familiar to people, in the hopes that we can expand on future Christmas reading for you all. Enjoy the list, and most of all, have a Merry Christmas!”...
List Universe, Dec. 21

Wieland, by Charles Brockden Brown (1798)Chilling books to read in the darkness of winter
Annalee Newitz writes: “Want a low-cost gift whose beauty is that it reminds you winter is a time of shadowy, gothic dread? We’ve got 17 seasonal depression books you’ll want to read next to the fire. These books are mostly very easy to find, and they all contain elements that are as mournful as the season itself. I’ve put together a selection of new and classic novels that will help you escape the darkness of winter—by taking you to even darker places.”...
io9, Dec. 20

Cover of Sex (1992), by MadonnaTop U.S. out-of-print books for 2008
The team spends a lot of time looking at used and rare market-demand trends. Per their research, here are the top 10 most sought-after out-of-print books in America in 2008. Three of these bestsellers will be going back into print in 2009. At the top, John L. Parker’s Once a Runner, which will be reprinted in April 2009.... Journal, Dec. 17

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Actions & Answers

Cover of 2006 Public Libraries Report2006 Public Libraries Survey
The Institute of Museum and Library Services has issued the Public Libraries Survey report for fiscal year 2006 (PDF file). This is the first PLS report released since IMLS was given responsibility for the annual survey, which includes information on population of service areas, service outlets, library collections and services, library staff, operating revenue, and expenditures. More than 9,000 libraries were surveyed in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Dec. 19

Gov. Rod BlagojevichWhen Blagojevich was a school library’s best friend
American Libraries Editor Leonard Kniffel writes: “For one moment, 10 years ago, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, then a U.S. Representative, was the darling of school libraries in Chicago. I can remember interviewing Ann Weeks, then director of the Chicago Public Schools Department of Libraries and Information Services, after he’d made the grand gesture of donating his share of the year’s congressional pay raise ($2,140.09, to be exact) to a CPS book fundraiser with a $20-million goal.”...
AL Inside Scoop, Dec. 17

University of Alaska Anchorage/Alaska Pacific University Consortium Library15 dazzling modern library designs
Some libraries are much more than book storage depots. From public archives of knowledge to academic centers of learning, libraries can be amazing places—so why shouldn’t they look the part? From alien blob buildings to futuristic steel-and-glass megastructures, here are 15 libraries that prove books are very cool. The University of Alaska Anchorage/Alaska Pacific University Consortium Library’s (right) washtub shape reflects direct sunlight downward while still admitting ambient light....
WebUrbanist, Dec. 10

The Green Library Movement: An overview
Monika Antonelli writes: “The creation of green libraries is approaching a tipping point and generating a Green Library Movement comprised of librarians, libraries, cities, towns, and college and university campuses committed to greening libraries and reducing their environmental impact. Constructing a green library building by using a performance standard like LEED is a way some libraries are choosing to become green and sustainable. Environmental challenges like energy depletion and climate change will influence the type of information resources and programs libraries will provide to their communities.”...
Electronic Green Journal 1, no. 27 (2008)

Screen shot of a journal displayed in ticTOCsJISC launches ticTOCS
The Joint Information Systems Committee has launched its ticTOCS service after a significant trial period. The service aggregates the tables of contents (TOCs) from 11,470 scholarly journals from 422 publishers, for a total of 296,186 full-text articles. (Of course, you or your institution must have access to the full text of these journals to view them; the table of contents, though, is free.) The idea behind ticTOCs is to make finding and subscribing to table of contents RSS feeds a simple process. This free service is long overdue....
RSS4Lib, Dec. 19

Debate on the Google Book Search agreement
The Open Content Alliance blog has a post on the Google/AAP agreement with a lengthy reply from Dan Clancy of Google Books, and a counterreply from Karen Coyle, who writes: “I consider the Google partnership with the libraries to be dangerous because it commercializes library materials. I know that libraries are impoverished and slow-moving, while Google is rich and quick. I would love for libraries to be rich and quick. But in no way do I want them to take on the assumptions or point-of-view of a for-profit approach to information. Our society would lose so much if that were to happen.”...
Open Content Alliance blog, Dec. 6, 17, 20

Find a new thing to do with Google
You can do a lot more than search the Web with Google nowadays, from reading newspapers in languages you don’t speak to seeing the natural habitat of Komodo dragons. Discover something new to do with Google by clicking on one of these 52 titles to watch a how-to video and try it for yourself....
Google Things To Do

Nursing home ratings
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have recently created an online tool to help people compare nursing homes. This tool uses a five-star rating system and ranks only nursing homes that are certified to participate in Medicare or Medicaid and provide a level of care considered “skilled.” The ratings are based on health inspections, staffing, and quality measures....
PCLS Senior Services Blog, Dec. 19

Donor Charles Tandy pointing to an illustration of King James that was defaced by an early owner (when the King was particularly unpopular among the churches)Hardin-Simmons acquires rare Bible collection
Charles and Roena Tandy have entrusted Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, with the gift of a rare and valuable collection of early and antique Bibles and Christian writings, some dating to the early 1500s. The Tandy collection includes 26 Bibles, including a first edition (1611) of the King James Bible, a 1541 edition of the Great Bible, and a first edition of the Geneva Bible translated by Protestant Reformers at Geneva in 1560....
Hardin-Simmons University, Dec. 10

What bloggers can learn from journalists
Gannett News Service syndicated columnist Anita Bruzzese writes: “I have a lot of fun reading blogs and often learn a lot. But as a trained journalist, sometimes I see things in a blogger’s copy that bug me a bit, and sometimes I read stuff that makes me cringe. Some of it just confuses me, and some of it appalls me. So, when Chris asked me to write a guest post on what bloggers can learn from journalists, I decided to make a list.”...
Chris Brogan’s blog, Dec. 15

This Unshelved strip from May 13, 2007, needs indexingHelp index Unshelved
Bill Barnes writes: “I am doing what I should have done years ago and implemented OhNoRobot’s simple and easy webcomic search engine to index Unshelved. Now it’s your turn, librarians. We have nearly seven years worth of archives, almost 2,500 strips in all, that need transcription. It’s easy. Just go to the archive, choose a strip (clicking the ‘random’ button is a good way to start) and, if there’s a ‘transcribe this comic’ button, click it. Then follow the directions.”...
Unshelved Blog, Dec. 16

Poster for Milk movie starring Sean PennTake it from someone who was there
Karen Schneider writes: “Milk is a strong biopic, respectfully (but not too respectfully) crafted. Because I grew up in San Francisco and lived in the Castro district in the late 1970s, a place and time where most of the movie takes place, and because I was at least a bystander for some of the public events, and knew what the principals looked like and in some cases how they spoke and moved, I have a standard for ‘being there’ few movies could hope to match. Yet Milk not only met and often exceeded my expectations but moved beyond the usual biopic you-are-there territory, doing justice to the idea of a portrait as a reflection of us all.”...
Free Range Librarian, Dec. 20

Still from Seneca Library Holiday SongLaid-back holiday greetings from Seneca College
Mikey Mike (AV Technician Michael London) and the Library Bunch at Seneca College’s Markham Campus in Toronto prepared this jazzy holiday song (4:50) in 2006. “Shhh, you gotta keep your voices down, people need a place to read.”...
YouTube, Jan. 3, 2007

Still from National Library of Australia's Thriller Christmas PartyZombies in the stacks
Staff at the National Library of Australia in Canberra know how to put on a holiday party. This year, they recreated Michael Jackson’s Thriller in a library setting and shot a video (5:25) that manages to one-up their Surfing NLA extravaganza from 2007....
YouTube, Dec. 17

No AL Direct next week
AL Direct is taking a week off for the holidays. Look for a new edition on Wednesday, January 7. Have a Happy New Year!

Go back to the Top

ALA 2009 Midwinter Meeting logo, Denver

ALA Midwinter Meeting, Denver, January 23–28. Tune into the Youth Media Awards free live webcast on January 26 at 7:45 a.m. Mountain time. Unikron, a streaming content provider, is the host.

Best Things poster

This lively poster features a short list of “best things” about visiting the library. Characters from Laurie Keller’s popular books, including the Scrambled States, Arnie the Doughnut, and the Otters, will brighten any library wall. A bookmark is available too. NEW! From ALA Graphics.

In this issue
December 2008

Cover of December 2008 issue

Laura Bush, Librarian in the White House

Top Stories of 2008

The World’s Greatest Music Library

User Tagging

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Head, Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas, Lawrence. Provide strategic and visionary leadership for the future of the Spencer Research Library; develop programmatic outreach to faculty and students to promote the integration of unique and primary resources in scholarship and teaching; manage human, financial, and other resources and daily operations; participate in donor relations and fundraising activities....

@ More jobs...

Digital Library of the Week

Monastery of St. John the Theologian, Attica, Greece, 1932. From the Dorothy Burr Thompson photo collection

In 2006 the American School of Classical Studies at Athens received European Union funds to showcase its unique treasures via the internet in order to promote classical and post-classical Hellenic studies to a broader international public. Within the framework of the Information Society Operational Program, the American School digitized a significant part of its collections. More than 400,000 items, scanned and cataloged, are now available online for consultation and study. The digitized material includes the scrapbooks of Joannes Gennadius (1844–1932), which contain photographs and documents on the long diplomatic career and scholarly preoccupations of the founder of the Gennadius Library; the correspondence of politician Ion Dragoumis (1878–1920); the photographic albums of Dorothy Burr Thompson (1900–2001), one of the most distinguished American archaeologists of the 20th century; a significant number of photographs from the historical archives of the Gennadius Library; and excavation records, photographs and drawings covering the entire duration of the School’s excavations at Corinth (1896 to the present).

Do you know of a digital library collection that we can mention in this AL Direct feature? Tell us about it. Browse previous Digital Libraries of the Week at the I Love Libraries site.

Public Perception
How the World
Sees Us

“A list of two hundred books which it is proposed to purchase for the library of the Lincoln School has been referred to a committee of the Board of Education, with power to reject any objectionable volumes. As it is not probable that the members of the committee are familiar with a half-dozen volumes comprised in this list or any other, it may reasonably be affirmed that a conscientious performance of their duty will require the first intellectual labor they have ever done in all their lives. It is to be hoped the works are printed in large, clear type, with the syllables properly estranged.”

—Ambrose Bierce, in his “Town Crier” column, San Francisco News Letter and Commercial Advertiser, Nov. 18, 1871.

Good Health Information logo

ALA and the National Library of Medicine want to help you show your patrons how to find the information that will help them achieve good health. The Good Health Information website introduces the resources of the National Library of Medicine and provides information that helps communities of color in rural settings make good health decisions. Specifically, the site addresses the diseases and illnesses that disproportionately affect people of color.

ACRL e-learning logo

ACRL offers a number of online learning opportunities to meet the demands of your schedule and budget. If you have a question about an e-learning opportunity, contact Jon Stahler. Registration for all ACRL e-learning opens approximately one month prior to seminar or webcast start dates.


Feb. 23–26:

Code4Lib Conference,
Renaissance Providence Hotel, Rhode Island.

Feb. 25–28:
Southwest Texas Popular Cultural and American Culture Association,
Conference, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Albuquerque, New Mexico. “Reeling in the Years: 30 Years of Film, TV, and Popular Culture.”

Mar. 11–13:
International Association for Sports Information,
13th World Congress, Canberra, Australia. “Building and Sustaining Sport Information Communities.”

Mar. 16–20:
Association of Research Libraries,
Service Quality Evaluation Academy, Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans. Application deadline is January 5.

Mar. 30–
Apr. 1:

Computers in Libraries 2009,
Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia. “Creating Tomorrow: Spreading Ideas and Learning.”

Apr. 3–5:
Expanding Literacy Studies,
an international, interdisciplinary conference for graduate students, Ohio State University, Columbus.

Apr. 24:
Second Annual Modern Role of the Library in Adult Education Conference, National-Lewis University, Chicago. “Diverse Learners.”

Apr. 29–
May 1:

International Society of Educational Biography,
Annual Conference, Menger Hotel, San Antonio, Texas.

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American Libraries Direct

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AL Direct is a free electronic newsletter emailed every Wednesday to personal members of the American Library Association and subscribers.

George M. Eberhart,

Greg Landgraf,
Associate Editor:

Leonard Kniffel,
American Libraries:

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Brian Searles,

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All links outside the ALA website are provided for informational purposes only. Questions about the content of any external site should be addressed to the administrator of that site.

American Libraries
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611
ext. 4216

ISSN 1559-369X.