The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | January 9,

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

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AL Buyers Guide

U.S. & World News

Grand opening of new Indianapolis Central Library December 9Indianapolis opening entangled in financial controversy
A splendid new central library opened in downtown Indianapolis December 9, amid ongoing controversy over who is responsible for $50 million in construction cost overruns and how a frozen operating budget will support a facility that has essentially doubled in size. Indianapolis–Marion County (Ind.) Public Library CEO Laura Bramble told American Libraries that IMCPL is “currently in litigation and mediation,” so she was reluctant to go into detail but said, “We’re still hoping it might not have to go to trial.”...

Jon ScieszkaScieszka named National Reading Ambassador
Popular children’s author Jon Scieszka was appointed by the Library of Congress January 3 as the first National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. Scieszka, the writer of The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs and the Caldecott Honor-winning The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, will use his two-year term to promote reading and to reach out to reluctant readers through the media, personal appearances, and project development....

Parents and librarians mobilize to save school library programs
Parents and librarians in Washington State are mobilizing to ensure that children learn how to find the information they need in an age of rapidly changing media—and how to use it in productive ways to prepare for the future. In the Spokane (Wash.) School District, where budget cuts reduced 10 school library media specialist positions to part-time, supporters are fighting to save their school libraries and having library services included in the state’s definition of a basic education....

Truckful of library materials recovered from patron’s home
An Akron woman faces felony charges of theft and receiving stolen property after police hauled more than 1,000 missing books, movies, music, and toys belonging to Akron–Summit County (Ohio) Public Library, some of which had disappeared as early as 2000, from her home in a pickup truck in mid-December....

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ALA News

The Liberty Bell and Independence Hall in Philadelphia10K expected at ALA Philadelphia meeting
More than 10,000 librarians, library supporters, publishers, and guests from around the world will converge on the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, January 11–16, for the ALA Midwinter Meeting. Such issues as user privacy, censorship, new technology, and library funding will be at the forefront of many of the approximately 2,500 scheduled meetings and events. The Midwinter Meeting also will offer more than 800 exhibit booths that will feature the latest and best in services and technology for today’s library users....

Text message on cellphone: "And the winner is..."Youth Media Awards results available on your cell phone
Unable to attend the 2008 ALA Youth Media Awards or sit in on the live Webcast on January 14? Get award winners sent directly to your cell phone by text message. Text the word “ALA 5” to 32075 in the U.S. and Canada to receive notification of the winners of the Newberry, Caldecott, King, Printz, and Belpré awards, one text message per award. Or text “ALA 13” for all the winners....

What’s happening at Midwinter (PDF file)
Use this 25-page pre-Midwinter Update in conjunction with the Midwinter Preview in the January American Libraries (pp. 62–69) to be informed of hot meeting topics, keep track of major Midwinter events, and remind yourself of important phone numbers and upcoming conferences....

Washington Office events at Midwinter
The ALA Washington Office is set to host several events at Midwinter. Highlighting the activities will be an address by FBI Supervisory Special Agent Bassem Youssef, who blew the whistle on discriminatory practices within the Bureau that were undermining the ability of the FBI to legally and effectively combat Middle Eastern terrorism. Youssef will speak at the Washington Office Update Session Saturday morning, which will be followed by three breakout sessions....
District Dispatch, Jan. 4

ALA welcomes five new Library Champions
The ALA Development Office is pleased to announce five new Library Champion members—BWI/Follett Library Resources, Ex Libris, Greenwood Publishing Group, ReferenceUSA, and—bringing the total to 47 Library Champions, the highest in the history of the program....

Great Stories CLUB logoGreat Stories CLUB program grant
Connect with hard-to-reach, underserved teens by conducting a Great Stories CLUB reading and discussion program, organized by the Public Programs Office in cooperation with YALSA. All libraries located within or working in partnership with facilities serving troubled teens are eligible to apply. Online applications will be accepted through February 15 (extended deadline)....

Be an American librarian in Paris
The International Relations Committee is calling for nominations for ALA representative to the board of trustees of the American Library in Paris. This two-year appointment would begin in June 2008 with the appointee having to cover costs to attend two board meetings a year in Paris. ALA does not provide financial support for the representative. The deadline is February 15....

Rubber band bracelets by Carolyn ForsmanFreedom to read affordable jewelry
If you plan to attend the Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, visit Exhibit Booth 252 to check out the designs of Carolyn Forsman—the New York–based jeweler who donates proceeds from her ALA booth to the Freedom to Read Foundation. Carolyn is back for her 25th year and has an intriguing assortment of affordable gifts to make you smile. Are you “quirky,” “dysfunctional,” a “goddess,” or a “rock star”? If so, she has a rubber band bracelet for you....
OIF blog, Jan. 7

AL Focus

Donna Seaman, Booklist associate editor for adult books, discusses a fun title by Sam Shepard, The God of HellBooklist editors read for fun
The 2007 Editors’ Choice issue of Booklist includes “Reading for Fun,” a roundup of each editor’s favorite personal reading choices of the year. In this video (4:54), seven of the editors get personal about unwieldy titles, Russian poetry, a takeoff on Republican fascism, way-too-heavy hardbacks, and more....

Booklist Online logo

Cover of The Windows of BrimnesFeatured review: Adult books
Holm, Bill. The Windows of Brimnes: An American in Iceland. December 2007. 256p. Milkweed, hardcover (978-1-57131-302-7).
Poet-memoirist Holm grew up on the tall-grass prairie, but his heart lies on the edge of the ocean in Iceland. Even as a child, he dreamed of the sea, and so to become a middle-aged Minnesotan and buy property in a place in Iceland called Brimnes—on the shore of a fjord, no less—was “the fulfillment of a lifetime of longing delivered.” The world he sees from the window of the small fisherman’s cottage he inhabits there, mostly in summer but sometimes in winter, he deeply admires. He loves Iceland’s tradition of pacifism; the Icelandic love of nature, poetry, and music; and especially, Icelanders’ unforced sense of community, which they call sveit, and which Holm wonders whether Americans may ever fully comprehend....

Top of the List 2007 logoBooklist editors’ top picks for 2007
Every January, Booklist publishes Editors’ Choice: lists of the best books, databases, video/DVDs, and audiobooks of the past year. From these lists, we further select what we call the Top of the List: the single best title in eight categories—adult fiction, adult nonfiction, youth fiction, youth nonfiction, youth picture book, reference source, video/DVD, and audiobook....

At Leisure by Joyce SaricksReading to learn and learning as we read
Joyce Saricks writes: “A few months ago, I came across a comment that got me thinking: Readers read nonfiction to learn something. Though seemingly innocuous, the remark, in context, implied that one doesn’t learn from fiction. I confess it got my dander up: Is nonfiction essentially superior because it offers information, the opportunity to learn something? And is it true that we don’t learn from fiction?”...
At Leisure column, Jan. 1

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

Philadelphia Update

Cover of Freedom for the Thought That We HateAnthony Lewis on the First Amendment
The Freedom to Read Foundation and the National Constitution Center are hosting a talk by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Anthony Lewis, one of the country’s most esteemed experts on the First Amendment and the author of the classic Gideon’s Trumpet, to share his latest work, Freedom for the Thought That We Hate, on the importance of freedom of expression. The event will take place Monday, January 14, at 6:30 p.m., at the National Constitution Center, Grand Hall Overlook, 525 Arch Street, Independence Mall. Reservations are required; (215) 409-6700....

OCLC special events
OCLC is hosting a number of breakfasts, sharing sessions, workshops, showcases, and user group meetings January 11–14 at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. Many sessions are still open. The organization is also hosting a Blog Salon, January 13, 5:30–8 p.m., in Commonwealth Room A1 at the Loews Hotel....

Desk Set party announcementParty like a librarian
The Desk Set is an informal group of New York City–area librarians, archivists, LIS students, and other individuals who love books. At Midwinter, they are teaming up with Authority Control, a Philadelphia-based librarian group, to present “Dance Dance Library Revolution: Bibliodiscothèque Philadelphia,” at the National Mechanics Bar, 22 S. 3rd St., January 12, 9 p.m.–2 a.m. Bring one nonfiction paperback to exchange for one free drink; it will go to an area prison library....
Desk Set

Division News

Holly BlackSignings, free books at the YALSA booth
YALSA invites Midwinter attendees to stop by YALSA Exhibit Booth 435 for a number of events, including a book signing with Holly Black (right), author of the popular fantasy series The Spiderwick Chronicles and the Modern Faerie Tales. Black will be signing at the booth from 1 to 2 p.m. on January 12, courtesy of Teen Read Week promotional partner Simon and Schuster....

YALSA chooses new journal editor
YALSA has named RoseMary Honnold the editor of Young Adult Library Services, its quarterly journal. Honnold will begin her editorship in April with the Summer 2008 issue....

YALSA offers four online courses in February
YALSA will present courses on boys and books, adolescent development and library behavior, power programming for teens, and tech tools for teen leadership. All online courses will be held February 4–29, except tech tools, which is a six-week course that runs until March 4....

ACRL Insider blog launches
The new ACRL Insider blog will keep ACRL members and other interested parties informed on the activities, services, and programs of the association. ACRL Insider features information on publications, events, conferences, and eLearning opportunities, along with podcasts and other media....

Cover of Library 2.0 Initiatives in Academic LibrariesLibrary 2.0 initiatives in academic libraries
ACRL has published Library 2.0 Initiatives in Academic Libraries, a hybrid book and wiki presenting 12 case studies of significant applications of Library 2.0 in academic libraries. The publication details a wide range of emerging technologies, such as blogs, wikis, podcasts, IM, RSS, XML, web services, mashups, and social computing....

ACRL explores the future of academic libraries
ACRL’s 2007 environmental scan explores the current atmosphere in the world of academic and research libraries, along with trends that will define the future of the profession and the research environment. The report is available online (PDF file). Share your thoughts on the issues identified in the report during an open discussion at Midwinter, 4–5 p.m., January 13, at Loews Philadelphia, Congress Room C....

Cover of Information Literacy Programs in the Digital AgeNew ACRL book examines information literacy
ACRL has released Information Literacy Programs in the Digital Age: Educating College and University Students Online, edited by Alice Daugherty and Michael F. Russo of Louisiana State University. The volume is a showcase of 24 online information literacy projects from community colleges, research universities, and liberal arts colleges....

AASL launches second year of longitudinal study
AASL will launch the second year of its study “School Libraries Count!” on January 11. The study, scheduled to close March 15, will gather basic data about the status of school library media programs across the country, which the division will then use to develop advocacy tools to support school libraries at the local, state, and national levels....

Cover of Standards for the 21st-Century LearnerSome thoughts on the new AASL Standards
Sharon Grimes, supervisor of library information services for the Baltimore County Public Schools, offers her thoughts on AASL’s Standards for the 21st-Century Learner, unveiled in October: “I was moved to write when I realized the implications not only for teaching, learning, and collaboration, but also for how school libraries and by extension school librarians will be perceived.”...
AASL Blog, Jan. 4

Notable ACRL events of 2007
Melissa Mallon posts the first part of a two-part summary of important events for academic librarians in the past year and writes: “We’d love to hear your thoughts on how these events have (or perhaps have not) influenced your year as an academic librarian.”...
ACRLog, Jan. 4

Round Table News

Jim Niessen (left) with manuscript curators Zagidullan Aryat of the National Library of Tatarstan and El'mira Amerkhanova of Kazan State UniversityA visit to Kazan (PDF file)
Jim Niessen, world history librarian at Rutgers University, visited the university library in Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan in Russia, in October as part of an exchange between Rutgers and Kazan State University. He reports on his tour of this second-oldest university library in Russia, which has at its core the library of Prince Grigori Potemkin (1739–1791), as well as the National Library of Tatarstan....
International Leads 21, no. 4 (Dec.): 1, 7


Norma BlakeNorma Blake: LJ’s Librarian of the Year
John N. Berry writes: “You hear it from the beaches and pine forests in the southern end of the state to the Delaware Water Gap in the northwest corner. Librarians and officials in education and government all recount the leadership and creativity brought to library service in New Jersey by State Librarian Norma Blake. She has sparked proactive, collaborative initiatives that have taken libraries of all types ‘out of their comfort zone,’ as she puts it, and into working partnerships and relationships with educational and corporate institutions as well as the state’s economic development and commercial players, from small businesses to the huge biotech industry.”...
Library Journal, Jan. 7

Smart Investing grants awarded
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation and ALA have awarded 13 grants, totaling more than $853,000, to public libraries and library networks, giving millions of library patrons and their families greater access to unbiased investing information and resources. The grants are awarded as part of a new program, Smart Investing @ your library, administered jointly by RUSA and FINRA....

Poster for No Country for Old MenNo Country for Old Men takes the Scripter
Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Cormac McCarthy and Oscar-winning screenwriters Ethan and Joel Coen have won the 20th annual University of Southern California Libraries Scripter Award for No Country for Old Men. Scripter recognizes the writers’ contribution as the year’s greatest achievement in cinematic adaptation. The University of Southern California Libraries announced the winners January 9 on behalf of the selection committee and the Friends of the USC Libraries, who sponsor the award....
University of Southern California Libraries, Jan. 9

Carol TenopirCarol Tenopir wins LACASIS Award
Carol Tenopir, professor at the School of Information Sciences at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has been selected as the 2007 recipient of the Contribution to Information Science & Technology Award. CISTA is an annual award given by the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Society of Information Science and Technology (LACASIS) to honor an individual who has made significant contributions to the field of information science....

Cover of The Entertainer and the Dybbuk2008 Sydney Taylor Book Awards (PDF file)
Sarah Gershman and Kristina Swarner, author and illustrator of The Bedtime Sh’ma: A Good Night Book; Sid Fleischman, author of The Entertainer and the Dybbuk; and Sonia Levitin, author of Strange Relations, are the 2008 winners of the Sydney Taylor Book Awards. The awards, administered by the Association of Jewish Libraries, honor new books for children and teens that exemplify the highest literary standards while authentically portraying the Jewish experience....
Association of Jewish Libraries, Jan. 7

AL Buyers Guide
Seen Online

Anne Mintz, knowledge manager at ForbesThe Misinformation Superhighway
Forbes Director of Knowledge Management Anne Mintz, editor of Web of Deception: Misinformation on the Internet (2002), was interviewed on the PBS newsmagazine NOW the first week of January. She offers some tips on assessing the accuracy of information on the Web and tracing the origins of online rumors....
NOW, Jan. 4

Panel urges less government secrecy
In a report released January 9, a joint presidential-congressional advisory group urged greater openness, a sore subject for a White House roundly criticized for secrecy. The Public Interest Declassification Board said President Bush can take immediate steps to address the issue. The board’s report says Bush could immediately create a national declassification program under the Archivist of the United States to increase efficiency. Under the program, all government agencies would report declassification decisions on a single computerized system....
Associated Press, Jan. 9

Stan Friedman and his Couch Potato AwardLibrarian wins ESPN couch potato contest
A Manhattan librarian emerged as a champion couch potato after three rivals gave in to sleep deprivation or nature’s call. Stan Friedman, senior librarian at Condé Nast Publications, won the ESPN Zone Ultimate Couch Potato Competition, which began the morning of January 1 at the ESPN Zone restaurant in Times Square. The event ended the next afternoon after more than 29 grueling hours of continuous sports viewing—mainly college football bowl games and endless highlights loops....
Associated Press, Jan. 4

I. M. Layte does the right thing
When the book arrived at the Bedford (Mass.) Public Library in a battered cardboard box last November, the return name and address gave a few of the library staff a chuckle. “I. M. Layte” was the delinquent patron’s name. The address was just as humorous: “45 Rueful Way” in Los Angeles. But the mystery of the hardcover book, Du Barry, about the last of French monarch Louis XV’s mistresses, would deepen when Director Richard Callaghan realized the book was 48 years overdue....
Lowell (Mass.) Sun, Jan. 9

National Year of Reading logoU.K. launches National Year of Reading
Ed Balls, the U.K. Secretary of State for Children, Schools, and Families, joined Prime Minister Gordon Brown at 10 Downing Street January 8 to launch 2008 as the National Year of Reading. He called for every British school, library, and college to sign up for activities and encourage new opportunities for reading....
eGov Monitor, Jan. 8

Closing public libraries is a tragedy
Roy Hattersley writes: “Forty public libraries in the U.K. closed in 2007, the victims of local government cutbacks. But the importance of public libraries—even in this new sophisticated age—has not changed. They still provide essential information, informal education, and, most important of all, hours of pure pleasure.”...
Daily Mail (U.K.), Jan. 7

Folio 27r from the Lindisfarne Gospels contains the incipit from the Gospel of MatthewBritish Library opposed call to return Lindisfarne Gospels
British Library chiefs labeled a bid to return the Lindisfarne Gospels to their home in northeast England as “regionalism gone mad.” The release of a series of internal emails has highlighted London-based opposition to the campaign to move the manuscripts, which are the oldest surviving translation of Bible chapters into English. Their creation on Holy Island, Northumberland, in the early 8th century was inspired by monks at Monkwearmouth and Jarrow. They were taken from Durham Cathedral in 1537 during Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries....
Sunderland (U.K.) Echo, Jan. 7; Newcastle (U.K.) Journal, Jan. 7–8

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Tech Talk

Edublogs logoBlogging platforms for school librarians
Michelle Boule writes: “Recently I was introduced to two blogging platforms built specifically for use in the classroom that are rarely, if ever, blocked by overzealous IT departments and administrations: Class Blogmeister and Edublogs. Each platform has the same goal, but has accomplished it in very different ways. I know there are other platforms available to teachers, but these are the two that came up in conversation the most often.”...
ALA TechSource blog, Dec. 31

OLPC America to launch this year
The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project plans to launch OLPC America in 2008 to distribute the low-cost laptop computers originally aimed at developing nations to needy students in the United States. The group, which was organized by teachers from MIT, came under criticism because its original mission did not include the U.S. Originally, the goal of OLPC was to develop a $100 laptop for kids in poor nations to ensure they don't miss out on the benefits of computing....
Computerworld, Jan. 9

Fancast logoComcast’s Fancast: For the media obsessed
Comcast’s new Fancast features full episodes of TV shows, TV listings, and news on TV, movies, and celebrities. Fancast may look like the latest entrant into the web video scene, but the truth is that it packs a much bigger punch. Much of the content for full episodes on Fancast is provided by Hulu, with additional content from CBS, MTV, and BET thrown in for good measure. Fancast allows for a good deal of personal customization and discovery and that is their killer feature....
Webware blog, Jan. 8

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Actions & Answers

Still from Masterpiece Theatre's PersuasionThe complete Jane Austen on PBS
On January 13, Masterpiece Theatre will broadcast all six Jane Austen novels, including four new adaptations and a biopic. Gillian Anderson will host the series. The show offers a Jane Austen teachers’s guide and a Masterpiece Book and Film Club. From now until February 29, ALA members can receive 15% off any item in WGBH-TV’s Jane Austen category (enter the code JAALA at checkout)....

10 common objections to social media adoption
Marshall Kirkpatrick writes: “I decided to make a list of the Top 10 Objections to New Online Tools and What You Can Say in Response. I surveyed my nearly 1,300 friends on Twitter and got all kinds of thoughtful replies. But ultimately, I’m not yet convinced myself that persuading anyone is the way to go. If you can make time on the side to use new tools and you can perform—perhaps the benefits can best speak for themselves.”...
ReadWriteWeb blog, Jan. 7

Annotated list of things not to forget (in the 2.0 craze)
Rory Litwin writes: “These days, when reading the library literature or a conference program it’s hard to find much that is not about the Library 2.0 idea. It seems to me that many librarians have forgotten that there is something worthwhile in what we do already, and that Library 2.0 is an update rather than something completely new. So here is my annotated list of things not to forget.”...
Library Juice, Jan. 6

Buzz marketing image of people talkingThe power of word-of-mouth marketing
Two regional Illinois library systems, the DuPage Library System and the North Suburban Library System, received a 2007 LSTA grant to help libraries harness what is recognized as the most effective form of promotion: word-of-mouth-marketing, also commonly referred to as “buzz marketing.” The grant provided training, project planning support, and informational resources. One result was this website, which offers a buzz marketing tip sheet (PDF file) and links to other resources....
North Suburban Library System, Jan. 3

Creating aging-friendly communities: An online conference
Creating Aging-Friendly Communities is a unique online conference focusing on proven strategies for helping communities respond effectively to the aging of their populations. The conference will take place over three weeks. It will have previously recorded presentations, which can be viewed at any time during the conference or up to 60 days afterwards. There will also be live presentations and live panel discussions on February 13, 27, and March 5. Hosted by UC Berkeley and cosponsored by ALA....
Creating Aging-Friendly Communities

10 obscure Google search tricks
Gina Trapani writes: “When it comes to the Google search box, you already know the tricks: finding exact phrases using quotes like ‘so say we all’ or searching a single site using But there are many more oblique, clever, and lesser-known search recipes and operators that work from that unassuming little input box. Dozens of Google search guides detail the tips you already know, but today we’re skipping the obvious and highlighting our favorite obscure Google web search tricks.” Don’t forget to look at the comments for more tips....
Lifehacker, Jan. 2

ProQuest logoProQuest to offer Hispanic Newsstand
ProQuest will soon launch the largest digital collection of U.S. Hispanic newspapers available on a single interface. ProQuest U.S. Hispanic Newsstand currently contains coverage from more than 30 titles representing both major cities with large Hispanic populations, as well as cities with growing Hispanic populations. The database will be fully searchable via the ProQuest platform....
ProQuest, Jan. 9

The new academic library
Mark Bauerlein writes: “Part of the success of libraries is due to their new identity as information center, not book repository. Next time you enter the college library, count how many kids are at a screen, then count how many are browsing the stacks. If the ratio is less than 10 to 1, your library is an anomaly. And as for the ‘reading’ and ‘writing’ they’re doing at the console, let’s not probe too closely or look over their shoulders, or we’ll get really depressed.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 5

Bookchase board gamePlay the Bookchase game
Bookchase is a new (late 2007) British board game about books. It comes with your own bookshelf, library card, bookshop, and your own set of tiny books to collect. The first player to collect six books and head home wins. You can get your books in many ways—by answering questions, or visiting the Bookchase shop or Library. Be careful though, you might drop your book in the bath and be forced to leave it on Treasure Island to dry out....

’Twas the Day before Christmas
Brian Mayer, technology specialist with the School Library System of Genesee Valley BOCES, penned this poem in response to the heart-warming tale of Wendy Stephany, a Bergen, New York, middle school librarian who found a good way to get students into the library on the day before break. It starts:
    “’Twas the day before break and all through the school
     Not a DVD player available, but I was no fool.
     I had an idea, a fine one you’ll see
     I’ll invite all the classes to my library.”...
Infomancy blog, Jan. 7

Portion of Hensel's Europa Polyglotta showing England and northern EuropeEuropa Polyglotta, or pass the dictionary
The Strange Maps blogger writes: “This delicious ethnolinguistic map is the Europa Polyglotta, published in 1730 by Gottfried Hensel (or Henselius, after the contemporary fashion of latinizing surnames). I’ve managed to piece together only very little information on its origin and background because I found it on a Ukrainian website. The map attempts to show the concordances and differences between all the languages spoken in Europe by spelling out the beginning of the Lord’s Prayer in each of them.”...
Strange Maps blog, Jan. 7

To read or not to read
In YALSA podcast #32, Linda W. Braun facilitates a roundtable discussion that focuses on the recent National Endowment for the Arts report, To Read or Not to Read, published in November 2007. Along with discussion of the report findings, roundtable panelists Michael Cart, Francisca Goldsmith, Sunil Iyengar, and Teri Lesesne consider audiobooks, graphic novels and comics, reading for pleasure, multiple literacies, and the impact of technology on reading habits and behaviors....
YALSA Blog, Jan. 8

Still from Read It! videoJust read it!
Syed Karim, research assistant at the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science, joined forces with some friends and put together this video (4:41) advocating literacy and based on Michael Jackson’s “Beat It!” video. Karim plays three roles: himself, a white thug, and a black thug. No one is admitting to being the vocalist, but the lyrics were written by Karim, Keith Buzzard, and Shannon Green....
SearchKindly, Jan. 7

Still from Lysistrata Bloof Elf video parodyWorld of Infocraft
Lissa Staley, adult services librarian at Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library, created this parody (1:23) of the William Shatner World of Warcraft commercial (0:33) to help promote the library’s services. Using her avatar of Lysistrata, Blood Elf Hunter, Staley explains that you can “find the facts and fiction you desire” at the library....
YouTube, Dec. 9

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ALA Midwinter Meeting logo

ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, January 11–16. As of January 4, advance registration was 7,668 (compared to 7,699 at the same point for the Seattle Midwinter Meeting in 2007).

If you can’t be in Philadelphia in person, make sure you watch the Youth Media Awards webcast, Monday, January 14, beginning at 7:45 a.m. Eastern time, for the Newberry, Caldecott, and other youth awards announcements. Or, get award winners sent directly to your cell phone by text message for free.

Jan 1/15 Booklist cover

Pick up a copy of the January 1 & 15 issue of Booklist containing the full set of 2007 Editors’ Choices at Booth 930 at the Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia.

ALA Graphics catalog, Spring 2008

Request the latest ALA Graphics catalog (Spring 2008) or download it (PDF file). BRAND NEW! From ALA Graphics.

In this issue
January/February 2008

Cover of January/February 2008 issue of AL

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

Welcome to Philly

Design Thinking

Librarians in the Jury Box

Putting Students First

Library Champions logo

Visit ALA’s five new Library Champions at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia

BWI logo
Booths 346 and 355

Greenwood Publishing Group
Booth 1342

Greenwood Publishing Group
Booth 544

Booth 437
Booth 1253

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Continuing Education Librarian, Amigos Library Services, Dallas. Assist staff at Amigos member/customer libraries on a variety of services including reference (traditional and virtual), database and internet searching, electronic services, collection management, customer service, and others. An employer representative will be attending the Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia....

@ More jobs...

Advocacy Institue logo

If you’ve missed the deadline for advance registration for the Midwinter Advocacy Institute, on-site registration will begin at 8:30 a.m., January 11, in Salon G at the Marriott Philadelphia.

Digital Library of the Week

Letter to William Bowen, 31 Aug 1876, Elmira, N.Y. (UCCL 01360). In Mark Twain’s Letters, 1876–1880. Edited by Victor Fischer, Michael B. Frank, and Harriet Elinor Smith, with Sharon K. Goetz, Benjamin Griffin, and Leslie Myrick. Mark Twain Project Online. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press. 2007.

The University of California’s Mark Twain Project Online applies innovative technology to more than four decades’ worth of archival research by expert editors. Right now it offers access to letters written by Twain between 1853 and 1880, most of them in redlined text and a few in facsimile. Scheduled to go online in 2008 are critically edited texts of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Roughing It, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. Its ultimate goal is to produce fully annotated editions of everything Mark Twain wrote. MTPO is a collaboration between the Mark Twain Papers Project of the Bancroft Library, the California Digital Library, and the University of California Press. As Twain wrote in 1906, “The edition of A.D. 2006 will make a stir when it comes out. I shall be hovering around taking notice, along with other dead pals. You are invited.”

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

“‘This is silly,’ he said, and did as I asked. People started to cluster around the computer. Toomy sat down next to Jonathan and headed for the keyboard—and Mary Kay took it away from them both. ‘This is my pidgin,’ she said firmly, and they relinquished it. (Mary Kay is one of the secret masters of the world: a librarian. They control information. Don’t ever piss one off.)”

—Spider Robinson, The Callahan Touch (Ace Hardcover, 1993).

Selection from AL 2007 Annual Index

The American Libraries Annual Index for 2007 is now complete and available on the AL website as a downloadable PDF.

Ask the ALA Librarian

Teen with laptop

Q. I read the news report about teens and adults under 30 being the heaviest users of libraries. How can we better serve these "information-savvy" and more technologically forward patrons?

A. Remember that despite the new technology, our primary role has not changed. As ALA President Loriene Roy pointed out in her response: “The study states seven in 10 library visitors received assistance from library staff, and 88% say they found a lot or some of what they were seeking. Library professionals play a critical role in helping find the information library users seek.” She also mentioned: “Libraries continue to bring in new technologies to serve their users—including wireless internet access, laptops for in-library use, 24/7 online reference help, e-books, blogs, and MP3s.” Begin on your own or collaborate with nearby libraries, possibly with the nearby high school and college libraries, in Using Current Technologies to promote the collection and services of all of your libraries, both individually and as a whole. Continue to support or establish teen and young adult programming, including Videogames activities, and also keep building your collection of materials of interest to teens and young adults, including Graphic novels. See the ALA Professional Tips wiki for more....

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.


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

Jan. 25:
Southern California Instruction Librarians, Works 2008, Claremont Colleges. “Putting Theory into Practice: The ‘Why’ Behind Instructional Strategies.” Register by January 15.

Jan. 31–
Feb. 1:

Connecting to Collections: The National Tour, High Museum of Art, Atlanta. “Preserving America’s Diverse Heritage.” The meeting is part of a tour of four meetings in 2008–2009 to raise awareness of the importance of collections care among small and mid-sized museums and libraries. The other meetings are: June 2425, Denver, on collaboration in the digital age; January 2009, San Diego, on care of living collections, and June 2009, Buffalo, New York, on training in collections care.

Mar. 10–14:
Service Quality Evaluation Academy, New Orleans. Sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries. Open by application, due January 15.

Mar. 13–15:
Thinking Ahead Symposium 2008, Salt Lake City Public Library. “Where Paths Meet: Connecting Libraries and Communities.”

May 17–20:
The Acquisitions Institute,
Timberline Lodge, Mount Hood, Oregon.

May 30–
June 1:

Canadian Association for Conservation of Cultural Property/ Canadian Conservation Institute Workshop, McCord Museum, Montreal. “New Methods of Cleaning Painted and Decorative Surfaces, Including the Modular Cleaning Program: A Systemic Approach to Cleaning Artworks.”

June 9–11:
Current Issues: Books in Spanish for Young Readers,
Baharona Center for the Study of Books in Spanish for Children and Adolescents, California State University San Marcos.

June 16–20:
Primarily Teaching: Original Documents and Classroom Strategies, Gerald Ford Library, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

June 17–19:
Bank Street College of Education Infancy Institute,
New York City.

June 23–25:
Books and Reading Strategies for English-language Learners in Grades K-8,
Baharona Center for the Study of Books in Spanish for Children and Adolescents, California State University San Marcos.

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