The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | February 20,

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

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U.S. & World News

Vintage photo of FBI agent wiretappingHouse allows warrantless wiretaps law to expire
A dramatic showdown between House Republicans and Democrats February 14 has led to Congress beginning a one-week break without sending any surveillance legislation to the White House. The result is the February 16 expiration of the Protect America Act, which since its enactment in August 2007 has permitted the National Security Agency to eavesdrop without a court order on foreign communications, including phone calls and email exchanges, between someone “reasonably believed to be outside the United States” and a person on U.S. soil, as well as communications traveling to or from U.S. libraries....

Markey introduces broadband policy bill in House
Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), chair of a House subcommittee on telecommunications and the internet, introduced a bill February 13 that calls on the Federal Communications Commission to take a more active role in ensuring a free flow of information over broadband networks. The Internet Freedom Preservation Act of 2008 (H.R. 5353), cosponsored by Chip Pickering (R-Miss.), calls on internet service providers to refrain from “unreasonable interference” or “discrimination” in traffic flow, but lacks the enforcement provisions that have derailed earlier efforts to enact net neutrality legislation....

Harvard University logoHarvard faculty approve open access policy
Harvard University’s arts and sciences faculty voted unanimously February 12 to publish their scholarly articles online, making them available to the public at no charge. Under the plan, the university’s library will oversee a newly created Office of Scholarly Communication that will serve as a repository for the material. Faculty members will retain the copyright to their articles, subject to the university’s license, and can request a waiver of the license for particular articles in special cases....

Atrium of the new Indianapolis Central LibraryIndianapolis settles with eight construction companies
After months of court-ordered mediation, Indianapolis–Marion County (Ind.) Public Library announced a $17.65-million settlement February 14 with eight construction companies for litigation claims related to a parking garage that is a part of a recent Central Library expansion. The project ran into long delays beginning in 2004 with the discovery of multiple defects in the underground garage, which also served as the foundation for a six-story addition....

Greenwich library faces Mideast lecture controversy
Greenwich (Conn.) Library officials decided February 14 to allow a speaker to proceed with two scheduled lectures on Israeli-Palestinian relations at the library’s Cole Auditorium. The permission was a reversal of a previous action to cancel the lectures after the library received a number of complaints from community members....

"Pay Equity for Library Workers, 10 years overdue" logo designed by CUPE 410Victoria to lock out public library staff
The Greater Victoria (B.C.) Public Library board voted February 13 to lock out unionized employees at all nine branches beginning at 5 p.m. February 17. The workers have been in legal strike position over a pay equity dispute since September 4, 2007....

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ALA News

ALA’s social responsibility mission
ALA was one of several associations spotlighted as global change agents in a new initiative by the American Society of Association Executives that focuses on social responsibility. In its case study, ASAE says that social responsibility “is imbedded in ALA’s stated mission, core values, and policy statements as critical to promoting high-quality library and information services and public access to information. The appendix to ALA’s Ahead to 2010 document, Envisioned Future and Organizational Values, also recommits to ‘social responsibility and the public good.’”...

American Society of Association Executives

Woman's Day, March 2008 coverNew Woman’s Day initiative
From now until May 11, Woman’s Day magazine, in conjunction with ALA’s Campaign for America’s Libraries, is collecting stories on how its readers have used the library to improve a family member’s or their own health. The magazine announced the initiative in its March issue, where it asks its readers aged 18 and over to submit their stories in 700 words or less. Up to four of the submissions will be featured in the March 2009 issue....

Workplace wellness posters wanted
The ALA Workplace Wellness Task Force will host a Wellness Fair on June 29 during the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California. In conjunction with this event, the task force invites poster session proposals relating to the program’s theme, “Be Well at Work.” Selected posters will be displayed during the Wellness Fair. The deadline for submissions is March 15....

AL Focus

A young school library supporter at the Olympia rallyThe rally for Washington school libraries
More than 100 people gathered at the state capitol steps in Olympia, Washington, February 1 to rally for school libraries. The rally, as well as an all-day summit, was the culmination of the work of a group of concerned Spokane mothers troubled at the cuts to school library media programs. This video (4:24) presents speeches and images from the summit and rally, as well as words from the mothers themselves....

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Cover of DVD, Ain't Got No HomeFeatured review: Media
Woody Guthrie: Ain’t Got No Home. Nov. 2007. 90min. PBS, DVD (978-0-7936-9391-7).
Ain’t Got No Home is an apt subtitle for this profile of singer and songwriter Guthrie (1912–1967), who traversed the country looking for inspiration. As the writer of such well-known songs as “This Land Is Your Land,” “Mule Skinner Blues,” and “Oklahoma Hills,” Guthrie found a home in American popular song. His music, which inspired the 1960s folk revival, told stories of Dust Bowl migrants taking harrowing, often fruitless treks to California; roused labor organizers in the 1940s; and prompted patriotic fervor during World War II. Against a remarkable backdrop of archival footage, photos, and music, the documentary follows Guthrie’s sporadic bursts of creativity in music, writing, and painting as well as chronicling attempts to satisfy his family life....

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

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Division News

Teaching teens skills during Teen Tech Week
During Teen Tech Week, March 2–8, more than 1,500 libraries across the country will showcase technology available to teens that will enhance their information literacy skills—and show teens and their parents how to be safe while doing so. As information technology professionals, librarians play a vital role in empowering teens to make smart decisions about their online activities. Clearly, teen librarians are a much-needed resource....

Dora the Explorer and her sidekick Boots urge kids to celebrate books for El día de los niños/ El día de los librosDora the Explorer helps celebrate Día
For 2008, libraries across the country will join Dora the Explorer and members of ALSC and Reforma in celebrating El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), also known as Día, on April 30. Día celebrates the importance of advocating literacy for every child, regardless of linguistic and cultural background. Dora the Explorer—the popular children’s character seen on the Nickelodeon channel who invites children to share her adventures in learning—is featured in the Día 2008 brochure, poster, and bookmark....

Housing opens for Young Adult Literature Symposium
YALSA opened housing requests and listed its registration rates for its inaugural Young Adult Literature Symposium, November 7–9, at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. Registration opens May 1, with special early bird pricing available until September 1 and advance registration from September 2 to October 3....

AASL seeks presenter
AASL is seeking a presenter for its “Reading and the Secondary School Library Media Specialist” institute. The deadline to apply to serve as presenter is March 14. The presenter will be responsible for presenting content, developed and supplied by AASL, to regions throughout the United States, starting at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference....

ACRL: Getting greener in 2009
ACRL’s new Green Conference Committee intends to reduce the environmental impact of the division’s 2009 National Conference in Seattle, educate and inform participants about the environmental costs of attending the conference, and set a precedent for greener conferences in the future for both ACRL and ALA. Fill out this survey and help them keep the conference green....
ACRL Insider, Feb. 14

Cerritos (Calif.) Millennium LibraryTour outstanding California libraries with LAMA
Participants will be able to tour two of Southern California’s most highly regarded library buildings and a major library furniture accessory company during the ALA 2008 Annual Conference, June 27, in Anaheim, California. The LAMA Buildings and Equipment Section will offer an all-day bus tour to the award-winning Santa Monica and Cerritos (above) main libraries before continuing to Doug Mockett & Company....

LAMA leadership preconference
LAMA will present “An Inside Look at Leadership” in conjunction with the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California, June 27. This preconference is presented in partnership with the Pacific Institute, and is intended for everyone in leadership positions as well as those moving toward leadership roles within their organizations or lives....

LAMA: Live with a balanced scorecard
Experienced presenters will take attendees through a day-long case study during “Living the Balanced Scorecard,” a preconference program presented by the LAMA Buildings and Equipment Section. This program will be presented June 27 in conjunction with the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California....

Bergis JulesRUSA selects Spectrum Scholar intern
RUSA has selected Bergis Jules as its Spectrum Scholar Intern for 2009. Jules, a 2008 Spectrum Scholar, is pursuing dual master’s degrees with the School of Library and Information Science and the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies, Indiana University at Bloomington....

LAMA seeks mentors and mentees
LAMA’s Mentoring Committee is accepting applications for participants in a formal mentoring program. The 10-month formal program is designed to encourage and nurture current and future leaders and to develop and promote outstanding leadership and management practices. Participants will meet each other at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim....


New information literacy award
World Book and ALA have created a new Information Literacy Goal Award, which will provide a combined $10,000 annually to a promising public library and a promising school library literacy program. The World Book/ALA Information Literacy Goal Award replaces the World Book-ALA Goal Grant Award. Established in 1960, this award has supported nearly 60 research projects advancing library services over the years....

Jane GreenbergJane Greenberg to receive Kilgour Research Award
Jane Greenberg, a metadata expert and faculty member at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science, is the winner of the 2008 Frederick G. Kilgour Award for Research in Library and Information Technology. The Kilgour Award, sponsored by OCLC and LITA, recognizes outstanding research that advances information science and information retrieval....

John Cotton Dana Award raised to $5,000
The H.W. Wilson Company, sponsor of the John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award since 1946, has increased the cash prize that comes with the award by $2,000. Libraries that receive the award this year will enjoy a $5,000 development grant....

Daisy Waters wins Esther J. Piercy Award
Daisy P. Waters, assistant acquisitions librarian for electronic resources, for the University at Buffalo, New York, is the winner of the 2008 ALCTS Esther J. Piercy Award. The award is given to recognize contributions in library collections and technical services by a librarian with no more than 10 years of professional experience....

Yee selected for Margaret Mann Citation
Martha Yee, cataloging supervisor for the UCLA Film and Television Archive, is the recipient of the 2008 ALCTS Margaret Mann Citation. The Mann Citation recognizes outstanding professional achievement in cataloging or classification and includes a $2,000 scholarship donated in the recipient’s honor by OCLC to the library school of the winner’s choice, in this case the University of Washington Information School....

Darling gets Leadership in Library Acquisitions Award
ALCTS has selected Karen Darling, head of acquisitions at the University of Missouri-Columbia, to receive the 2008 Leadership in Library Acquisitions Award. Sponsored by Harrassowitz, the award recognizes contributions and outstanding leadership in the field of acquisitions and includes a $1,500 gift....

First Step Award to Erin Leach
Erin Leach, catalog librarian at Washington University in St. Louis, is the recipient of the 2008 First Step Award, a Wiley Professional Development Grant, presented by the ALCTS Continuing Resources Section. John Wiley & Sons sponsors this $1,500 grant, which offers librarians new to the serials field an opportunity to broaden their perspective....

Blackwell Scholarship Award honors Lucy Lyons
The ALCTS Blackwell Scholarship Award this year goes to Lucy Lyons for her article “The Dilemma for Academic Librarians with Collection Development Responsibilities” in the Journal of Academic Librarianship 33, no. 2 (March 2007): 180–189. Blackwell donates a $2,000 scholarship to the library school of the winning author’s choice, in this case the School of Information and Library Science at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn....

Walters article wins Best of LRTS
William H. Walters, dean of library services and professor of social sciences at Menlo College, Atherton, California, has won the 2008 Best of LRTS Award for his article “A Regression-based Approach to Library Fund Allocation,” Library Resources and Technical Services 51, no. 4 (October 2007): 263–278....

Support Staff Travel Grants awarded
Six library support staff members have each been awarded a 2008 ALCTS/Sage Library Support Staff Travel Grant. These grants, sponsored by Sage Publications, provide airfare, three nights hotel lodging, and conference registration for the individuals to attend the 2008 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California....

Bechtel Fellowship winner
ALSC has awarded the 2008 Louise Seaman Bechtel Fellowship to librarian Mary Elizabeth Land of the Abbeville County (S.C.) Library System. The fellowship is designed to allow a qualified children’s librarian to spend a month or more reading and studying at the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature, part of the George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida, Gainesville....

BWI Summer Reading Grant winner
ALSC has awarded the Wayne County (N.C.) Public Library the 2008 BWI Summer Reading Program Grant. The $3,000 grant, donated by Book Wholesalers Inc., provides financial assistance to a public library for developing outstanding summer reading programs for children....

Literature Program Grant winner
ALSC has awarded children’s librarian Lisa M. Shaia with the 2008 Tandem Library Books Literature Program Grant for her program “Superhero Club” at the Bristol (Conn.) Public Library....

“Light the Way” Grant winner
ALSC has awarded the Rogers (Ark.) Public Library its 2008 “Light the Way: Library Outreach to the Underserved” grant. The grant is sponsored by Candlewick Press in honor of author Kate DiCamillo and the themes represented in her books. As winner of the grant, the Rogers Public Library will receive $5,000 to continue its exceptional outreach to underserved populations....

3M/NMRT Professional Development grants
Katie Dunneback, Deana Groves, and Kate Zoellner have been selected as the 2008 recipients of the 3M Professional Development Grant administered by the New Members Round Table. This grant, sponsored by 3M Library Systems, covers round-trip airfare, lodging, and conference registration fees for attendance at the ALA Annual Conference....
NMRT Footnotes, Feb.

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Seen Online

LSSI begins labor talks in Jackson County
A private firm that operates the 15 libraries in Jackson County, Oregon, is being forced to recognize that a majority of its employees are members of a union to resolve a complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board. Instead of waiting for a ruling, the Maryland-based company known as LSSI has agreed to enter into negotiations with the union that could result in a contract for an estimated 65 employees who formerly worked for Jackson County but were terminated last April when libraries closed....
Medford (Oreg.) Mail-Tribune, Feb. 13

Library staffer’s cat spends 25 days in the subway
Georgia, the feisty black kitten who escaped her travel case and scampered into the Manhattan subway January 22, was found February 16 by two track workers and returned to her delighted owner, Ashley Phillips, who works at the Throg’s Neck branch of the New York Public Library in the Bronx. “She’s getting microchipped as soon as possible,” Phillips quipped....
New York Daily News, Feb. 17

Put the penguins back
A Loudoun (Va.) School Board member is among critics of the school superintendent’s recent decision to remove And Tango Makes Three from circulation at Loudoun elementary schools. That was the wrong decision, said School Board Vice Chairman John Stevens. “Parents determine what is appropriate for their own children and how to guide their children as they learn and grow,” he said in a written statement. “The schools should not be an instrument of censorship.”...
Loudoun (Va.) Times-Mirror, Feb. 15

Studio of community radio station WWOZ in Armstrong Park. Blue tarp over damaged roof. (This was WWOZ's production and broadcast studio building from the mid 1980s until the Saturday before Katrina in August of 2005. In December of 2005 the station resumed broadcasting in the city from temporary studios in the French Quarter. Photo by InfrogmationLibrary of Congress preserves New Orleans music
The Library of Congress has rescued New Orleans public radio station WWOZ’s extensive live broadcast collection. The collection, which was almost lost in Hurricane Katrina, includes great recordings by many New Orleans musicians, including Deacon John, Beau Jocque, and the late James Booker. It’s a rare historical testament to the city’s roots music....
NPR, All Things Considered, Feb. 12

Man sues Andover library for $10 million
Ross Tobia, a self-published author who suffers from mental illness, is suing the Memorial Hall Library in Andover, Massachusetts, for $10 million because he was banned from the building in January for allegedly swearing, yelling, and threatening staff there. Tobia claims his civil rights were violated when police warned him to stay away from the library or risk arrest, according to a lawsuit he filed in Newburyport Superior Court early in February....
North Andover (Mass.) Eagle-Tribune, Feb. 17

Vandalism in the Chetek (Wis.) Public Library. Uncredited photo contributed to Eau Claire Leader-TelegramPublic library vandalism appalls director
Carol Burnham can’t understand why anyone would break into the Chetek (Wis.) Public Library and vandalize books, computers, and the bathrooms. Burnham, the library director, is “definitely mad. They’ve hurt the entire community and the hundreds of people who come in every week.” A toilet was broken, book shelves were knocked over and destroyed, and feces were smeared on the carpet and books by vandals February 11....
Eau Claire (Wis.) Leader-Telegram, Feb. 13

As economy struggles, more people rely on libraries
Librarians have long thought that the demand for library services leaps when the economy limps. It’s not just books that the belt-tightening public wants more of in tough times, but museum passes, children’s programs, and internet access. That’s been the case at the Kelley Library in Salem, Massachusetts, over the past year, coinciding with the economic slowdown, according to Director Eleanor Strang....
North Andover (Mass.) Eagle-Tribune, Feb. 19

Tornado damages Bible-studies collection at Union University
The Ryan Center for Biblical Studies at Union University lost approximately 10% of its holdings when the EF4 tornado swept through the Jackson, Tennessee, campus February 5. The center is located on the top floor of Jennings Hall, which had half its roof ripped off in the tornado. Most of the damage was caused by water, mildew, or mold....
Baptist Press, Feb. 15

Scott NicholsonSyracuse University professor gets Gaylord gaming grant
If Professor Scott Nicholson has his way, the library would no longer be a place just for studying—students could also play video games. Nicholson, an associate professor in the School of Information Studies, recently received a $5,000 grant from Gaylord Brothers, a library supply company located in Syracuse, to begin building a portable library game lab. Money from the grant will specifically go toward purchasing projectors, consoles, screens, accessories, and games....
Syracuse University Daily Orange, Feb. 12

Colorado harmful-to-minors bill advances
On February 13, the Colorado Senate Judiciary Committee ignored the pleas of booksellers and voted 4–2 to approve a bill that bans the sale to minors of books and magazines that are “harmful to minors.” Senate Bill 125 (PDF file) also makes it a class 2 misdemeanor to disseminate to a minor any material that is harmful to minors or to allow a minor to view any performance that is harmful to minors....
Bookselling This Week, Feb. 14

Larry LessigLessig considers a run for Congress
Anne Broache writes: “Confirming weeks of speculation, Larry Lessig, the Stanford University law professor and ‘free culture’ icon, has confessed that yes indeed, he’s considering a run for the U.S. Congress this year. The revelation came in a brief blog entry on Lessig’s website early February 20. Lessig would be vying for the seat vacated by the death last week of Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.).”...
C| blog, Feb. 20

Ontario schools to get more for libraries
Elementary school pupils were given a boost in reading and learning February 14 with new funds earmarked for school libraries. The Ontario government announced it will provide $40 million ($39.4 million U.S.) in additional funds during the next four years to hire new library staff across the province. But some school boards say the money is not enough to pay for more than new library technicians....
London (Ont.) Free Press, Feb. 15; Sarnia (Ont.) Observer, Feb. 16

Detail of part of the Mary Queen of Scots death warrant, courtesy of MLALibrary acquires Mary Queen of Scots death warrant
The only contemporary copy of the piece of paper that sent Mary Queen of Scots to her death in 1587 has been purchased by the library of Lambeth Palace, the official London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, bringing a huge sigh of relief that it will not be sold outside of the UK. An export ban was placed on the document in November 2007, giving UK institutions a chance to raise the £72,485.50 ($141,265 U.S.) asking price for it, bearing in mind its importance to British history....
24 Hour Museum (U.K.), Feb. 19

Newberry Library sculpture stolen
A large outdoor art piece that has become a symbol of Chicago’s Newberry Library was stolen over the weekend, authorities said. Smaller replicas of the piece, Umanita (humanity in Italian), are used in awards presented by the library, said library president David Spadafora. The six-foot-tall sculpture was fixed to a marble base near the front door of the library....
Chicago Sun-Times, Feb. 20

Borders stores become more digital
When you walk through the doors of Borders’ new concept store, the place feels familiar. But follow the table of books snaking off to the right, and you’ll come face-to-face with Borders’ newest retail strategy: a digital center where you can download music or books, burn CDs, research family histories, print pictures, and order leather-bound books crammed with family photos—with help from clerks who know how to do those sorts of things and won’t embarrass you if you don’t....
USA Today, Feb. 13

Bookshelf in Cambridge library tower features Jules Verne, fairy tales, and other classic Victorian literatureSecrets of the Cambridge library tower
For decades generations of University of Cambridge undergraduates have fantasized about a secret stash of Victorian pornography in the library’s tower, but this is pure folklore. However, the tower does contain some 170,000 publications from the 19th century that are getting cataloged for the first time. Originally acquired by the library under legal deposit legislation, the collection consists of books, pamphlets, textbooks, calendars, games, timetables, and trade catalogs that were once considered unsuitable for inclusion in an academic library catalog....
The Telegraph (U.K.), Feb. 14; University of Cambridge library

Cover of Double Cross, by James PattersonU.S. author is U.K. library fiction favorite
American thriller writer James Patterson has become the UK’s most borrowed author, with his books taken out of libraries 1.5 million times in 12 months. He has overtaken children’s writer Dame Jacqueline Wilson, whose books have dominated for the past four years. The list, compiled by Public Lending Right, covers the year through June 2007. J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was the most borrowed children’s book....
BBC News, Feb. 8

Destruction of YMCA library in Gaza City. Photo by IRIN News AgencyYMCA library blown up in Gaza
Unknown assailants targeted the YMCA’s library in central Gaza City, Palestinian territories, in the early hours of February 15, detonating explosives that razed it to the ground. The explosion occurred about 45 minutes after armed men broke into the building and overpowered two security guards. The library held about 8,000 books and was a popular cultural facility. Sources told the Jerusalem Post that the incident was in retaliation for the republication of cartoons ridiculing the Prophet Muhammad in a number of Danish newspapers. Officials are now worried about further deterioration of security in the Gaza Strip....
Ma’an News Agency, Feb. 15; Jerusalem Post, Feb. 17; IRIN News, Feb. 20

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Tech Talk

iLingo language translation for the iPod100 ways to use an iPod to learn and study better
If you think that iPods are used just for listening to music, you obviously haven’t been keeping up with the latest technology. The Apple-developed music player now features all kinds of accessories to help you study better, and now other companies are in a rush to get their designs in sync with the iPod. Preteens, college kids, and even adults are taking advantage of the educational benefits an iPod affords them....
Online Education Database, Feb. 12

End of the high-def format wars: pros and cons
Melissa J. Perenson writes: “With Toshiba’s withdrawal from producing HD DVD players and PC drives, the format war has come to an abrupt end—and consumers everywhere can breathe easier as they whip out a credit card to buy a Blu-ray player. But it’s not all good news for consumers. Now that the war is over, I can see both pros and cons. Here are some to consider.”...
PC World, Feb. 19

Digital downloads will not kill Blu-ray
Duncan Riley writes: “With Toshiba’s announcement that it is to cease manufacture of HD DVD players, the high-definition format wars are now over. With Blu-ray left standing, some, such as Rob Beschizza at Wired are now saying that digital downloads will now kill Blu-ray. It’s an argument many of you reading this will feel is a sound one, but it’s not going to happen anytime shortly. Here are a few reasons why.”...
Techcrunch, Feb. 17

Interesting and peculiar products
Walt Crawford brings together news about the latest gadgets and technology, including green PCs, really cheap laptops, recordable iPods, dense memory, and new enhancements for familiar products....
Cites & Insights 8, no. 3 (March)

USB Podcast StudioAll-in-one podcast studio
Think Geek is offering a USB audio podcast studio pack, which gives you everything you need for crystal-clear audio recording and editing. The included USB mic features a 19mm internal shock-mounted diaphragm with a cardioid pick-up pattern ensuring pristine studio quality. A shock-mounted desktop mic stand and Cakewalk Sonar LE audio workstation software round out the package. You even get a sharp-looking aluminum briefcase to store all your new audio goodies....
Think Geek

WebFeat logoProQuest logoProQuest acquires WebFeat
Ann Arbor–based electronic publisher ProQuest has acquired WebFeat, the company that pioneered the technology that simultaneously searches all of an organization’s databases, dramatically increasing research productivity. ProQuest plans to merge WebFeat with Serials Solutions, its Seattle-based business unit and developer of e-resource access and management tools for libraries....
ProQuest, Feb. 14

Actions & Answers

Library a Go Go logoLibraries to move into Bay Area rapid transit stations
The Contra Costa County (Calif.) Library is expanding services and improving accessibility by making its popular collection available to people at Bay Area Rapid Transit stations and local shopping centers. The library claims to be the first in the nation to offer the public book-lending machines under a new program called Library-a-Go-Go. The first machine will be available at the Pittsburg/Bay Point BART station sometime in April....
Contra Costa County (Calif.) Library, Feb. 11

Open minds, open source
In January, a survey by Marshall Breeding, director for innovative technologies and research at Vanderbilt University’s library, revealed a measure of discord over the options available to librarians for automating their electronic catalogs and databases. Some libraries, fed up with software that doesn’t fully meet their needs, have begun creating their own open-source solutions that are fully customizable, free for others to use, and compatible with existing systems....
Inside Higher Ed, Feb. 19

Open access is the future
Social-networks scholar Danah Boyd has vowed never again to publish in any journal that does not offer open access and asks other academics to join her boycott: “I believe that scholars should be valued for publishing influential material that can be consumed by anyone who might find it relevant to their interests. I believe that the product of our labor should be a public good.” She also calls on libraries to begin subscribing to more open-access journals....
Apophenia, Feb. 6

Wayne WiegandWiegand to write new public library history
A Florida State University professor has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship to write a book exploring the history of public libraries in the United States. Wayne A. Wiegand, the F. William Summers Professor of Library and Information Studies, received a $50,000 fellowship to write his proposed book, A People’s History of the American Public Library, 1850–2000, which will explore the roles the public library has played in the community, in the life of the reader, and as an information provider....
Florida State University, Feb. 14

This 44-page booklet is a guide to the IMLS Connecting to Collections Bookshelf, a core set of texts that are essential for the care of collections.IMLS Connecting to Collections Bookshelf
More than 850 libraries, museums, and archives have been chosen to receive the IMLS Connecting to Collections Bookshelf. The contents of the bookshelf were selected by a blue-ribbon panel of conservation experts; it includes an essential set of books, online resources, and a user’s guide that can profoundly impact the ability of small libraries and museums to care for their collections....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Feb. 19

Gaming and the school curriculum
Brian Mayer writes: “Games engage students with authentic leisure experiences while reinforcing a variety of social, literary, and curricular skills. When an educational concept is introduced and reinforced during a game, it is internalized as part of an enjoyable experience and further utilized as one aspect of a strategy to attain success.” To prove his point, Mayer matches up specific New York State learning standards with selected games....
Library Gamer, Feb. 11

Chris Prom, assistant university archivist and professor of library administration, holds a laptop running the ARCHON software program. Prom developed the program with Scott Schwartz right, director of the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music and archivist for music and fine arts at Illinois, and undergraduate Kyle Fox, lead developer. Photo by L. Brian StaufferUIUC develops web toolkit for archivists
Archivists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library believe they have built a better toolkit. Their new online collections management program called Archon has more than a few attractive features—not the least of which is that it was developed for “lone archivists with limited technological resources and knowledge,” said Scott Schwartz (far right), one of the developers of the software program and the university archivist for music and fine arts....
UIUC News Bureau, Feb. 19

Library search tools for researchers
College came up with a selection of 25 web tools, many of them developed by libraries, that enhance the research process. Included are the University of Virginia’s Project Blacklight, Michigan State’s Encore, LibWorm, and Fez....
College, Feb. 12

How to give effective presentations
Peter Bromberg writes: “Since I started doing Toastmasters about two years ago, I’ve been saving every good piece of information I could find on how to be a better speaker and presenter. I mentioned this recently to some of my fellow Toasties and they asked me to share my links. The following pieces speak for themselves (no pun intended), so without extensive annotations, here are my top 10.”...
Library Garden, Feb. 15

Robin Levin helps students with research at Fort Washakie School. Photo by David AgnelloSpotlight on a Wyoming school library
The award was the 2007 Thompson Gale Giant Step Award, a $10,000 award to libraries who provide unusually beneficial services to their community or school. Splitting the honor and money with a New York school, the Fort Washakie School, on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming, was chosen as an award cowinner because of its efforts to make the library not only a school affair, but a community one too....
Wyoming Library Roundup 49, no. 4 (Fall): 4–6; I Love

Preservation in the age of large-scale digitization
A white paper (PDF file) published by the Council on Library and Information Resources examines large-scale digital initiatives (Google Book Search, Microsoft Live Search Books, Open Content Alliance, and the Million Book Project) to identify issues that affect the availability and usability of the digital books these projects create. Written by Cornell University’s Oya Y. Rieger, the paper describes the selection, quality control, and infrastructure of the four projects....
Council on Library and Information Resources, Feb. 15

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Still pondering whether to attend the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California, June 26–July 2? Find out what Anaheim is really like in this AL Focus video. Early bird registration ends March 7.

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The March 1 issue of Booklist features all of ALA’s notable and best books and media, as well as the annual interview with the winner of the Printz award, Geraldine McCaughrean. NEW! From Booklist.

In this issue
January/February 2008

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From Hoops to Ink: An Interview with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Welcome to Philly

Design Thinking

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Putting Students First

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Support the ALA Cultural Communities Fund by July 31, and your gift will be matched by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The five-year Challenge Grant campaign has a goal of raising $1.4 million, with yearly targets to receive matching funds from the NEH.

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Librarian, American Numismatic Society, New York City. This endowed position serves the society’s curatorial staff, the annual Eric P. Newman Summer Seminar in numismatics, scholars, and collectors with collections of books, articles, catalogs, and primary documents covering the full range of subjects relevant to the history of the world’s currencies and medallic art. The librarian’s duties include the continued development of this distinctive collection and a range of services to users. The librarian will lead the move of the collections to new quarters in the summer of 2008 and the migration of its collection and catalog to conform to modern standards....

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Digital Library of the Week

View from the southeast of the Lester Sunderland Residence, 1226 W. 56th St., Kansas City. Sunderland was Chairman of the Ash Grove Lime & Portland Cement Co., June 1932. Photo by Frank Lauder. P22, Lauder Autochrome Collection, S-53, Box 46

The Missouri Valley Special Collections Digital Gallery offers more than 11,000 images of archival material such as letters, photographs, postcards, advertising cards, and maps from the holdings of the Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library. You’ll find not only historical photos of Kansas City like early downtown street scenes and businesses, schools, and churches, but also photographs of celebrities like Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford, and Walt Disney. Special features of the Gallery include over 300 locally written biographies of well-known deceased Kansas Citians, profiles of over 25 significant Kansas City buildings, and the Local History index to numerous articles in magazines, newsletters, newspapers, books, as well as factual entries on topics of interest to the Missouri Valley area and Kansas City specifically. 

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

“The FBI, which did not immediately return phone calls, keeps a list of security books in addition to Thomas’s book [Aviation Insecurity: The New Challenges of Air Travel, published in 2003 by Prometheus Press], and tracks the titles through sales and distribution channels. Libraries also are monitored for activity and interest in the listed titles.”

—“FBI Tracks Book Sales for Terrorism Leads,” WorldNet Daily exclusive report, Feb. 11.

Virtual Library Legislative Day, May 15

Clock tower at Bermuda College Library

Would you like to live and work in Bermuda? Bermuda College Library is seeking an exchange partner in either the fall 2008 or spring 2009 semester, or for the academic year. They would like to have someone who is familiar with technology, electronic resources, or cataloging. See more details on the IRO wiki.

Ask the ALA Librarian

Customer Service cartoon

Q. A member of our library visiting team has suggested that our staff development goal should be customer service training. Where do we start?

A. Many libraries are instituting programs leading to high expectations in providing service to those who use our libraries—whether we call them customers, patrons, readers, visitors, or library users. You probably want to use a multipronged approach, combining in-service training with a consultant, external workshops, and readings. Some of your readings will be from the standard business literature, with works such as Good to Great, by Jim Collins, or even something like Inside the Magic Kingdom: Seven Keys to Disney’s Success, by Tom Connellan—which we’ll all get to see in action if we take time to make a visit during the upcoming Annual Conference. We've collected some resources on our customer service page. See the ALA Professional Tips wiki for more reading lists....

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.

Charles University, Prague

The School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is offering two international summer seminars that are open to anyone, not just UNC students. One is at Oxford University, May 11–24, and the other is at Charles University in Prague, May 25–June 7. Registrations must be received by March 1.


ALA Courses

Mar. 6–7:

Planning and Management of Buildings, Florida Library Association, Orlando. Certified Public Library Administrator course sponsored by the Public Library Association.

Mar. 24–
Apr. 23:

Readers’ Advisory 101.
Online course sponsored by the Reference and User Services Association.

Mar. 26–29:
ACRL/Harvard Advanced Leadership Institute for Senior Academic Librarians,
Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Apr. 1–2:
Current Issues,
Prairie Area Library System, Moline, Illinois. Certified Public Library Administrator course sponsored by the Public Library Association.

Apr. 7–
May 2:

Selecting Spanish-Language Materials for Adults.
Online course sponsored by the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies.

Apr. 15–16:
Washington/Oregon Joint State Library Conference, Vancouver, Washington. Certified Public Library Administrator course sponsored by the Public Library Association.

Apr. 29–30:
Peninsula Library System, San Mateo, California. Certified Public Library Administrator course sponsored by the Public Library Association.

Apr. 29–30:
ACRL/LAMA Joint Spring Virtual Institute. “Leading from the Middle: Managing in All Directions.”

May 6–7:
Politics and Networking,
Southern Adirondack Library System, Saratoga Springs, New York. Certified Public Library Administrator course sponsored by the Public Library Association.

May 7–8:
Strategic HR: Organization and Personnel Management,
Ohio Library Council, Columbus. Certified Public Library Administrator course sponsored by the Public Library Association.

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