The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | January 16,

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

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AL Buyers Guide

U.S. & World News

Bessem Youssef at ALA Midwinter Meeting. Photo by George EberhartFBI whistleblower answers questions in Philadelphia
Despite a warning from his superiors, FBI Special Agent Bassem Youssef appeared at a January 12 session of the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia with his attorney and answered questions from the audience. Although in October the FBI had approved his request to give a speech on the Bureau’s counterterrorism program, Youssef received an email January 3 that said his talk could threaten the fight against terrorism and required clearance, a process that could take weeks. The message was accompanied by a 12-page document, explicitly marked as confidential, that contained directives on Bureau secrecy....

Hennepin County library logoMinneapolis Public Library logoMinneapolis merges with Hennepin
Nearly a year after their boards initially approved the merger, Minneapolis Public Library joined the Hennepin County Library January 2. The merger combines Minnesota’s two largest public library systems into a 41-branch operation with more than 5 million items and 1,600 computers. It is believed to be the largest public library consolidation in North America since the 1997 amalgamation of five suburban systems into Toronto Public Library....

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ALA News

Hear ye, hear ye! Town crier Asher Keys, in circa 1776 Philadelphia fashion, calls attendees to the grand opening of the exhibits. Photo by ALA CognotesALA Midwinter Meeting draws 13,601 to Philadelphia
Sports legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar delivered a heartfelt address at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, January 11–16, in Philadelphia. Speakers and discussion forums added variety to the Association’s annual business gathering, attended this year by 13,601 librarians and library supporters. Some 500 technology vendors and publishers filled the exhibition hall in the Pennsylvania Convention Center, enabling attendees to examine firsthand a wide variety of information-industry products....

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar stands with BCALA founder E.J. Josey (seated) and Josey's son-in-law after the President's Program. Photo by Leonard KniffelPresident’s Program keynoted by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Frederick J. Augustyn Jr. writes: “NBA all-time leading scorer Dr. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the keynote speaker for Loriene Roy’s President’s Program January 13. Roy introduced him as someone who brings ‘his convictions to education, history, and yes, to basketball.’ ‘I am not standing here as a basketball player but as an author, a historian, and a book lover, all because of a library and librarians like you,’ he began,” crediting New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture as his inspiration....
ALA Cognotes, Monday, p. 3

Regina Carter performs at the 9th Annual Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture. Photo courtesy of ALA CognotesJazz violinist inspires at Arthur Curley Lecture
Ericka Patillo writes: “Regina Carter, renowned jazz violinist and 2006 recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship, rocked the house January 12 at the Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture. Carter mixed it up with positive pithy stories about her musical experiences, interspersed with toe-tapping bebop, smelly funk, lush impressionism, and hip-grinding blues.”...
ALA Cognotes, Sunday, p. 15

ALA Council II
Michael Golrick writes: “Tuesday mornings in the Convention Center are always sad. We arrive to find that all the registration booths are coming down. Signs are gone, exhibits closed, ALA Store gone. I always find it somewhat depressing. We heard more on the graduated dues. Some people just don’t get that we have ‘semi-graduated’ dues already.”...
PLA Blog, Jan. 15

Proposed design for ALA home pageNew ALA website design viewable online
You are invited to review the proposed new graphic design for the ALA website, another in a series of usability activities involving ALA members in the site redesign process. First, you’ll step through 10 web pages that show and describe the proposed new graphic design for the ALA site. Each of these pages presents a type of page in the design. When you have reached the 10th page in the sequence, you will find a link to the survey, which will ask for your opinions of the proposed new design....

Present a poster session in Anaheim
Poster sessions will be held at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California, June 28–30. Proposals are due by January 31. Presenters can describe an innovative library program, analyze a practical problem-solving effort, or report on research....

Renovated Reading Room, Morgan Library, New York CityAL architectural showcase
Every year, American Libraries’ April issue features articles and photographs spotlighting new, expanded, and renovated library buildings. A showcase of exteriors and interiors of all kinds, this special issue features some of the best in library designs, as well as accounts of successfully completed restorations. The editors invite librarians, architects, and interior designers to share their treasures with AL’s readers. The deadline for submissions (PDF file) is February 1....

COSWL pushes for salaries in job ads
About half a dozen members of the Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship gathered January 15 to discuss gender equity and other issues, including pay. They want ALA to allow job advertisements in American Libraries magazine and other publications only if the postings include minimum and maximum pay offered. But many employers, particularly academic institutions, refuse to include this information in their job postings....
Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 15

AL Focus

Mary Doria Russell at the Authors ForumRussell and Brooks at Midwinter Authors Forum
Best-selling historical novelists Mary Doria Russell (Dreamers of the Day) and Geraldine Brooks (People of the Book) talk about “book pusher” librarians, book lust, and where they stand on e-book readers like the new Amazon Kindle in this video (6:00) recorded at the January 11 Exhibits Round Table Author Forum at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia....

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Cover of The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-BanksFeatured review: Books for youth
Lockhart, E. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. March 2008. 352p. Hyperion, hardcover (978-0-7868-3818-9). Grades 7–12.
In the summer between her freshman and sophomore years, Frankie Landau-Banks transforms from “a scrawny, awkward child” with frizzy hair to a curvy beauty, “all while sitting quietly in a suburban hammock, reading the short stories of Dorothy Parker and drinking lemonade.” On her return to Alabaster Prep, her elite boarding school, she attracts the attention of gorgeous Matthew, who draws her into his circle of popular seniors. Then Frankie learns that Matthew is a member of the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, an all-male Alabaster secret society to which Frankie’s dad had once belonged. Excluded from belonging to or even discussing the Bassets, Frankie engineers her own guerrilla membership by assuming a false online identity....

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

Philadelphia Update

Reflections on Midwinter from a conference newbie
Sarah Ludwig writes: “So, I’ve never been to an ALA conference before. The only conference I’ve attended previously was the Massachusetts School Library Association conference in Sturbridge, where I felt pretty out of place because I always went by myself and never really knew anybody. I was afraid that since Midwinter is all about Association meetings, I wouldn’t have much to do . . . but I was wrong. It turned out to be a very productive weekend.”...
YALSA Blog, Jan. 14

What’s playing at the library?
ALA President Loriene Roy and Free Library of Philadelphia Interim President Joseph McPeak discuss the relevance of gaming in libraries: “According to a recent study by Scott Nicholson, director of Syracuse University’s Library Game Lab, gaming programs at libraries address a multitude of goals. Some use games to teach and reinforce information literacy, others to provide entertainment; still others expand the library’s role as a community hub.”...
Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan. 11

Round Table News

The Prize of the Pole, by Staffan Julen, one of the notable videos of 20082008 Notable Videos for Adults
The Video Round Table Notable Videos Committee has compiled its 2008 list of Notable Videos for Adults, a list of 15 outstanding programs released on video within the past two years and suitable for all libraries serving adults. Its purpose is to call attention to recent video releases that make a significant contribution to the world of video recordings. The selections were made during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia....


From left to right, YALSA President Paula Brehm-Heeger, Coretta Scott King Book Committee Chair Deborah Taylor, ALA President Loriene Roy, and ALSC President Jane Marino with Youth Media award winners. Photo by Cognotes

Youth Media award winners
The writer whose 21 monologues bring to life the world of 13th-century England and the illustrator of a 500-page picture book that pays homage to the flickering images of silent films were named respective winners of the ALA Newbery and Caldecott medals honoring children’s literature. The announcement, which took place January 14 at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, was webcast for the first time for those who could not attend....

Cover of Good MastersCover of The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Newbery and Caldecott winners
Laura Amy Schlitz, librarian at the Park School in Baltimore and author of Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village, and Brian Selznick, illustrator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, are the 2008 winners of the John Newbery and Randolph Caldecott Medals. Considered the “Academy Awards” of children’s book publishing, the Newbery and Caldecott medals honor outstanding writing and illustration of works published in the United States during the previous year....

Cover of Elijah of BuxtonCover of Let It ShineCover of Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything in It

Curtis, Bryan win Coretta Scott King Awards
Christopher Paul Curtis, author of Elijah of Buxton, and Ashley Bryan, illustrator of Let it Shine, are the winners of the 2008 Coretta Scott King Awards honoring African-American authors and illustrators of outstanding books for children and young adults. Sundee T. Frazier, author of Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything in It, is the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award winner....

Cover of There Is a Bird on Your Head!Mo Willems wins Geisel Award
Author and illustrator Mo Willems is the 2008 winner of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the book There Is a Bird on Your Head! In this humorous account of Elephant Gerald and Piggie’s ongoing friendship, Gerald learns that there is something worse than having a bird on your head—having two birds on your head! Trying to help her friend, the always-playful Piggie ends up with a problem of her own....

Cover of The White DarknessGeraldine McCaughrean wins Printz Award
The White Darkness, by Geraldine McCaughrean, published by HarperTempest, an imprint of HarperCollins, has won the 2008 Michael L. Printz Award. This contemporary YA novel is about 14-year-old Symone’s exciting vacation to Antarctica, which turns into a desperate struggle for survival when her uncle’s obsessive quest leads them across the frozen wilderness into danger....

Cover of Ender's GameOrson Scott Card honored with Edwards Award
Orson Scott Card is the recipient of the 2008 Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring his outstanding lifetime contribution to writing for teens for his novels Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow. An accomplished storyteller, Card weaves the everyday experiences of adolescence into broader narratives, addressing universal questions about humanity and society....

Cover of Brave StoryBatchelder Award honors VIZ Media
VIZ Media is the winner of the 2008 Mildred L. Batchelder Award for the most outstanding children’s book originally published in a foreign language and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States. Originally published in Japanese in 2003 as Bureibu Sutori, Brave Story was written by Miyuki Miyabe and translated by Alexander O. Smith....

Cover of Jump In! DVDCarnegie Medal goes to Jump In!
Producer Kevin Lafferty, along with executive producer John Davis and coproducers Amy Palmer Robertson and Danielle Sterling, are the 2008 recipients of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Children’s Video for the production of Jump In!: Freestyle Edition. The video, originally aired on the Disney Channel, is a Disney DVD and features Corbin Bleu of High School Musical fame....

Cover of The WallSís wins Sibert Medal
Peter Sís, author and illustrator of The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain, was named the winner of the 2008 Robert F. Sibert Medal for the most distinguished informational book for children published in 2007. In his deeply felt memoir set in mid-20th-century Prague, Sís contrasts the constrictive walls of the communist state with his personal quest for artistic freedom....

2008 Alex Awards
YALSA has selected 10 adult books that will appeal to teen readers to receive the 2008 Alex Awards. The awards, sponsored by the Margaret Alexander Edwards Trust, were announced January 14 at the Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, and will appear with full annotations in the March 1 issue of Booklist and on Booklist Online....

Cover of Jazz CDFirst Odyssey Award goes to Jazz
Live Oak Media, producer of the audiobook Jazz, has won the first-ever Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production. Jazz takes the readalong to new heights as James “D-Train” Williams and Vaneese Thomas perform the work of Walter Dean Myers. Original music accompanies each poem's performance, resulting in a rhythmic representation of mood and tone. Separate tracks for the selections and lively inclusion of a glossary and timeline create a dynamic audiobook; part poetry, part nonfiction, and wholly authentic....

Cover of The Poet Slave of CubaMorales, Engle win Pura Belpré Awards
Yuyi Morales, illustrator of Los Gatos Black on Halloween, and Margarita Engle, author of The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano, are the 2008 winners of the Pura Belpré Illustrator Award and Author Award respectively, honoring Latino authors and illustrators whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in children’s books....

Cover of Kami and the YaksSchneider Family Book Award winners
Winners of the Schneider Family Book Award, which honors an author or illustrator for the artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences, were announced at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. Kami and the Yaks by Andrea Stenn Stryer is the winner in the young children’s category; Reaching for Sun by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer is the winner in the middle-school category; and Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby is the winner in the teen category....

Walter Dean MyersWalter Dean Myers to deliver 2009 Arbuthnot Lecture
Walter Dean Myers, widely acclaimed author of picture books, novels, poetry, and nonfiction for children and young adults, will deliver the 2009 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture. Each year, an individual of distinction in the field of children’s literature is chosen to write and deliver a lecture that will make a significant contribution to the world of children’s literature. The award is administered by ALSC....

Cover of The Teahouse FireAvery, Doty win Stonewall Book awards
ALA’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table has announced the winners of the 2008 Stonewall Book Awards. Ellis Avery, author of The Teahouse Fire (Penguin Group) is the winner of the Barbara Gittings Book Award in Literature, and Mark Doty, author of Dog Years: A Memoir (HarperCollins) is the winner of the Israel Fishman Book Award for Nonfiction....

Cover of New England WhiteThe 2008 BCALA Literary Awards
The Black Caucus of the American Library Association announced the winners of the BCALA Literary Awards January 14 during the ALA Midwinter Meeting. The awards recognize excellence in adult fiction and nonfiction by African-American authors published in 2007, including the work of a first novelist and a citation for Outstanding Contribution to Publishing. The winner in the fiction category is New England White by Stephen L. Carter (Knopf)....

Cover of Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time IndianAmerican Indian Youth Literature Award winners
The American Indian Library Association announced the recipients of the 2008 American Indian Youth Literature Awards at the ALA Midwinter Meeting January 14. Crossing Bok Chitto by Tim Tingle is the winner in the picture-book category; Counting Coup by Joseph Medicine Crow is the winner in the middle-school category; and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie is the winner in the young adult category....

Laura Bush presents Newberry Library with the 2007 Institute of Museum and Library Service National Medal, the nation’s highest honor for extraordinary public service. Left to right: Mrs. Laura Bush, community member Jereldine Red Corn, Board Chairman Roger Baskes, and IMLS Director Anne Radice. Photo courtesy of Newberry LibraryLaura Bush receives and presents National Medals
Institute of Museum and Library Services Director Anne-Imelda Radice bestowed on First Lady Laura Bush the first National Medal for Museum and Library Service at the White House January 14. Mrs. Bush deserves the newly minted medal for her tireless championing of the nation’s museums and libraries, Radice said at a ceremony celebrating the 10 library and museum winners of the National Medals. The library winners were the Newberry Library, Chicago (above); Georgetown County (S.C.) Library; the Kim Yerton branch of the Humboldt County Library in Hoopa, California; Memphis (Tenn.) Public Library and Information Center; and Ocean County (N.J.) Library....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Business Wire, Newberry Library, Jan. 14

Henrietta SmithALSC Distinguished Service Award
ALSC has selected Henrietta Smith as the winner of its 2008 Distinguished Service Award. Smith is professor emerita from the University of South Florida and is a nationally recognized expert in the field of multicultural children’s literature....
ALSC Blog, Jan. 14

Call for Library Interior Design Awards
LAMA and the International Interior Design Association are accepting entries for the 2008 Library Interior Design Awards. The competition honors excellence in library interior design and recognizes outstanding aesthetics, design creativity, function, and client-objective satisfaction. The project must be submitted (PDF file) by a licensed design professional; the deadline is March 31....
Contract magazine, Jan. 15

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Seen Online

Dallas Morning News looks at porn in the library
At the Dallas central library, the practice of patrons viewing explicit internet material is commonplace, according to a Dallas Morning News analysis of web pages accessed on J. Erik Jonsson Central Library public computers and stored on the city’s computer server. During a 45-minute period on December 19, for example, central library computer users accessed more than 5,200 web pages containing identifiably pornographic material. Top city officials said they’ll immediately review the matter....
Dallas Morning News, Jan. 15

French National Library exhibition logoFrench National Library’s erotic exhibition
The lighting is bordello red, but the librarians insist that their X-rated exhibition is serious. “Hell at the Library, Eros in Secret,” which opened at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in December, offers a peek at its secret archive of erotic art, putting on display more than 350 sexually explicit literary works, manuscripts, engravings, lithographs, photographs, film clips, even calling cards and cardboard pop-ups....
New York Times, Jan. 16

MySpace to take new anti-predator steps
MySpace, the country’s largest social-networking website, has agreed with attorneys general of 49 states to take new steps to protect children from sexual predators on its site. It also agreed to lead a nationwide effort to develop technology to verify the ages and identities of internet users, officials announced January 14....
New York Times, Jan. 15

Detroit libraries balance patrons and homeless persons
The battle between book-using patrons and the homeless heats up during the winter months as libraries across Metro Detroit offer free warm havens with bathrooms, internet access, and reading material. Libraries have always been tolerant of all users, but a variety of measures—from metal detectors to more stringent security guards to case-by-case personal hygiene policies—are being put in place to keep traditional patrons and the homeless happy. Christina Nilsen offers another perspective....
Detroit News, Jan. 14; Impagination blog, Jan. 12

Vermont libraries: State is overdue
For the second year in a row, Vermont librarians will lobby lawmakers for a $1.6-million slice of the general budget to help fund the 180 public libraries across the state. Librarians and their supporters plan to rally at the Statehouse in Montpelier January 18 to build support for their effort, which would pay for 10% of library budgets next year. Vermont is one of a handful of states that does not directly give libraries state funds....
Barre-Montpelier (Vt.) Times Argus, Jan. 12

Cover of The Economic Impact of Libraries in IndianaA library’s economic value
An Indiana University report has confirmed the economic value of the state’s public libraries: a total market value of goods and services estimated at $629.9 million and a return of $2.38 on each dollar of investment. The November report, by the Indiana Business Research Center at IU’s Kelley School of Business, concludes that public libraries are a good value, serving as “an important channel for literacy, education, and information.”...
Fort Wayne (Ind.) Journal Gazette, Jan. 8

1905 postcard of Beauvoir showing missing flagBeauvoir curator finds 100-year-old artifact on eBay
A century-old flag immortalized in a 1905 postcard is back home at Beauvoir, the Biloxi museum estate of Jefferson Davis that once served as an early 20th-century old soldiers home. The postcard shows two veterans displaying a Confederate First National Flag in front of Beauvoir. The image proved that the flag (purchased on eBay) was made for the soldiers home, possibly by the Mississippi United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1903. What makes this story poignant, besides the return of missing history, is that Beauvoir lost at least 40% of its artifacts to Hurricane Katrina, including two flags....
Biloxi (Miss.) Sun Herald, Jan. 11

The truth about library/IT mergers (subscription required)
Andrea L. Foster writes: “Adrift. Dysfunctional. Desperately needing a change. The adjectives sound like descriptions of a bad relationship, but about three years ago Xavier University, in Cincinnati, applied them to two of its departments. Both Xavier’s library and its information-technology unit were in terrible shape. Xavier had hired four chief information officers in five years, its technology was obsolete, its library and IT staffs didn’t talk to each other, and students had to jump through hoops to do online research.”...
Chronicle of Higher Education, Jan. 18

Harry Potter Lexicon logoWhy J. K. Rowling should lose her lawsuit
Tim Wu writes: “Once it dawned on media companies that fan sites are the kind of marketing that they usually pay hard cash for, they generally left the fans alone. But things turned sour in the fall, when the Harry Potter Lexicon website announced plans to publish a book version of its fan-written guide to the Potter world. Author J. K. Rowling and publisher Warner Brothers have sued the Lexicon for copyright infringement, exposing the big unanswered question: Are fan guides actually illegal?”...
Slate, Jan. 10

Four Windsor libraries face closure
The CEO of the Windsor (Ont.) Public Library said January 11 that four branches would have to close, Sunday hours slashed at the others, and 14 staff members laid off if the library is to meet city council-ordered expenditure cuts of $800,000 ($784,900 U.S.) per year. Brian Bell wouldn’t specify which of the system’s 10 branches are being considered for closure, pending a meeting of a newly constituted library board February 13....
Windsor (Ont.) Star, Jan. 12

Foundation offers Anchorage libraries millions
The Rasmuson Foundation is giving $4.4 million to the Anchorage, Alaska, library system, including $1 million to help build a new branch in Eagle River and almost $2.5 million to help pay for a new roof and other renovations at the main Loussac Library. The donation—one of the largest ever given by the Rasmuson Foundation—is part of a $20-million initiative to pump life into the library system, which is growing for the first time since budget cuts gutted branch libraries in 1988....
Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News, Jan. 15

Stolen maps return to Boston
More than 30 rare maps stolen from the Boston Public Library by a Martha’s Vineyard map dealer were returned to the library in 2007, library president Bernard Margolis said, part of the conclusion of an international scandal that rocked the staid world of map collecting. Not all has been resolved, however. More than 30 other missing maps, losses that have not been linked to confessed map thief E. Forbes Smiley III, have yet to be recovered....
Boston Globe, Jan. 2

Mona Lisa, painted by Leonardo da VinciMona Lisa’s identity confirmed in German library
The enigmatic smiling woman painted by Leonardo da Vinci in the 16th century has for long been known simply as the “Mona Lisa.” Now a manuscript hidden away in a German library may have unlocked the key to her real name. Heidelberg University library confirmed on January 11 a German radio report that its researchers had discovered the true identity of the model in the famous portrait. She was indeed Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a wealthy Florentine merchant, Francesco del Giocondo....
Der Spiegel, Jan. 15

Robert Burns, the Bard of AyrshireBurns was a Scot after all, LC admits
The literary world was hailing a remarkable coup January 11 after the Library of Congress agreed to reverse a decision to classify all Scottish writers under the general heading of English. In an email sent to the National Library of Scotland and the British Library, LC announced: “After reviewing thoughtful comments received from several correspondents, the Library of Congress will be reinstating headings for Scottish literature, Scottish poetry, and similar headings.”...
The Times (U.K.), Jan. 12

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Tech Talk

Top Tech Trends discussed
Lauren Pressley went to the LITA Top Technology Trends Committee meeting at Midwinter where members offered suggestions on what the major tech news will be this year. She summarizes the discussion points: “Solid state hard drives and durable, sealed keyboards; security and reliability concerns with online services; aesthetics in hardware and buildings; cloud computing and green computing.” Eric Lease Morgan, Karen Schneider, and Sarah Houghton-Jan also chimed in....
Lauren's Library Blog, Jan. 13, LITA Blog, Jan. 7; Free Range Librarian, Jan. 9; LibrarianInBlack, Jan. 11

YouTube Remixer, powered by Adobe Premiere ExpressHow to become a YouTube star
Eric Griffith writes: “What kind of equipment should you use to film with and edit your footage? Where do you upload the completed work? How do you compress it so it plays back smoothly and clearly? How do you get the masses to watch it? We didnt know either. So we asked the pros making near–TV-quality video blogs and online programs getting hundreds of thousands of plays.”...
PC Magazine, Jan. 1

Still from Online Photo Sharing in Plain EnglishOnline photo sharing in plain English
Lee LeFever of Common Craft has created a short video (2:50) that demonstrates the usefulness of saving and sharing your digital photos online: “Thankfully, online photo sharing services make it easy to back up your photos and share them with the world. If you want to encourage your friends or family to start sharing photos online, point them here.”...
Common Craft, Jan. 9

Search Wikia logoWikia’s new social search engine
Woody Evans writes: “Wikia, the for-profit cousin of the Wikimedia Foundation, launched the alpha release of its new search engine, Search Wikia, January 7. Search Wikia is branded as a social search engine, significantly different from the big names in search, such as Google and Wikia is hoping that the open and participatory model will make Search Wikia the place to go for search results of higher quality.”...
NewsBreaks, Jan. 14

Litmus logoSeven browser-testing services
Mike Gunderloy writes: “Whether it’s designing web applications, buffing up other people’s style sheets, or simply building web pages, many of us are actively engaged in contributing to the world-wide sprawl. But it can be tough to build pages that work for all viewers. Sooner or later, you’ll need to deal with the issue of different browsers showing your lovely pages in different ways.”...
Web Worker Daily, Jan. 7

Toshiba will now sell its entry-level HD DVD player for $150Toshiba cuts HD DVD player prices
Toshiba may have taken a huge hit recently, but the HD DVD supporter is striking back. Barely a week after Warner Brothers announced it would no longer put out movies on the HD DVD format, of which Toshiba is a primary supporter, the company announced it is lowering the prices on all three models of next-generation DVD players. The entry-level model, the HD-A3, now goes for $150, the HD-A30 for $200, and the HD-A35 for $300. That’s about $150 to $200 worth of discounts on all models....
C|Net News Blog, Jan. 14

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Actions & Answers

Final report of the LC Working Group (PDF file)
The Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control has issued its final report. Among its recommendations: “Position our technology for the future by recognizing that the World Wide Web is both our technology platform and the appropriate platform for the delivery of our standards. Recognize that people are not the only users of the data we produce in the name of bibliographic control, but so too are machine applications that interact with those data in a variety of ways.”...
Library of Congress, Jan. 9

OpenCongress logoMy OpenCongress network
Donny Shaw writes: “As Congress returns to start a new session, OpenCongress announces a major update that will put all the bills and votes at your fingertips. It’s never been easier to track what’s happening with your government. Now you can build a personal profile on OpenCongress of the bills and people you’re tracking, network with other users, comment and vote on bills, and much more. To get started, create your own My OpenCongress profile. It’s free and only takes a minute.”...
OpenCongress, Jan. 14

EPA logoEPA move to modernize libraries spurs concern
In response to a congressional mandate that the Environmental Protection Agency restore its closed libraries, the agency said it will proceed with modernizing its library network, leading some people to believe the EPA will not resume physical library operations. Molly O’Neill, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Environmental Information, issued a statement January 14 that said, “EPA continues to modernize its library network to enhance access to information for EPA employees and the public.”...
Government Executive, Jan. 15

15 publishing trends to watch
Mike Shatzkin writes: “Some of the changes I envision do call for fundamental changes in how the business operates. Consumer media in the 20th century tended to be horizontal and format-specific. The New York Times and Random House define ‘horizontal’: They publish across all interests and markets. The internet will drive 21st-century publishing enterprises to be more like what professional publishing has always been: highly vertical and format-agnostic.”...
Publishers Weekly, Jan. 7

Bookshelves on renovated first floor of San Francisco's Main LibrarySan Francisco Public Library opens remodeled first floor
The extensive renovation of the Main’s first floor has been completed and was officially unveiled at a January 16 celebration. The first floor renovation project resulted in an additional 6,000 square feet of publicly accessible space—an area that was previously used for staff functions. It has also tripled the amount of browseable shelf space that formerly housed the fiction collection....
San Francisco Public Library, Jan. 16

UW to conduct study on computers in libraries
The University of Washington Information School, working with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Urban Institute, will conduct a national study on the social, economic, personal, and professional value of free access to computers at public libraries. The project will be carried out with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Jan. 11

LC to partner with Microsoft to enhance visitor experience
The Library of Congress and Microsoft have signed a cooperative agreement that will change the way library visitors experience history. The joint technology initiative will electronically deliver LC’s immense collection of historical artifacts to patrons visiting its Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington, D.C., and will allow immersive interactive experiences that will bring the institution’s vast historical collections and exhibits to life—onsite and online—through the upcoming website....
Library of Congress, Jan. 10

Green SLA logoSLA announces green initiative
The Special Libraries Association will begin efforts to become an environmentally sensitive organization at the membership, board, volunteer leadership, and staff level. SLA Headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, has already begun implementing green practices in its day-to-day operations, such as eliminating unnecessary printing of documents and replacing disposable cups and utensils with flatware and ceramic coffee mugs and dinnerware. Additionally SLA has committed to purchasing carbon credits to offset all staff travel for events throughout the year....
Special Libraries Association, Jan. 11

Frontispiece from Levinus Vincent's Wondertooneel der Nature (1715)Wondertooneel der Nature
The collection obsession of Early Modern Europe that saw people stocking cabinets of curiosities (wunderkammer or rariteitenkabinet) with obscure and exotic trinkets and specimens from the worlds of artificialia and naturalia, emerged in Holland under a local profile of influences. Unlike most of their European counterparts, the Dutch Republic lacked both a royal court or any sizeable aristocracy, so collecting was a hobby cultivated by regular citizens....
BibliOdyssey, Jan. 15

Cover of Academic Library Blogs: 231 Examples, by Walt CrawfordAcademic library blogs
Walt Crawford has written a book on academic library blogs to accompany his recent opus on public library blogs. He writes: “The two books make a great combination, offering an extensive look at library blogging that should be useful to any library considering blogs for the first time or wishing to fine-tune or expand current offerings.”...
Walt at Random blog, Jan. 15

IMLS launches LSTA study
The Institute of Museum and Library Services has launched a study of the economic, social, educational, and cultural value of its largest grant program, Library Grants to States, in order to better understand the impact and direction of this federally funded program. In December, IMLS selected Himmel and Wilson, a library consulting firm, to conduct a trends analysis of the Library Grants to States program from 2002 to 2006....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Jan. 10

PALINET logoPALINET launches Leadership Network
(PDF file)
PALINET has launched the PALINET Leadership Network, a wiki designed to help current and future library leaders communicate, coordinate, find resources, and share information. Features include articles and forums on cutting-edge library topics including funding, marketing, technology, and services....
PALINET, Jan. 14

Segments for the Classroom web pageUSC Shoah Foundation Institute offers new resources
The University of Southern California’s Shoah Foundation Institute has launched a newly designed website that contains free and unique online resources for teachers and librarians, including video and lesson suggestions. Segments for the Classroom is a set of seven clip reels (six in English and one in Spanish), each of which includes testimony from one or more Holocaust survivors, that educators can download and incorporate into their own classroom lessons....
USC Shoah Foundation Institute

19th-century bookmark on thin card stock produced by the Merrick Thread CompanyThe world of bookmarks
Mirage Bookmarks in Riehen, Switzerland, maintains a website that offers a history of bookmarks, an online bookmark exhibition, bookmark links, and quotes about bookmarks. Did you know that an illuminated 13th-century manuscript, Historia Scholastica, written by Petrus Comestor and owned by the British Library, bears an interesting and rare bookmark? One vellum page of the manuscript is cut on its edge vertically to form a long tab which is tucked through a slit on the higher part of the edge, forming a practical bookmark....
Mirage Bookmarks

Still from AACR2: The Movie trailer, showing Dr. Latefees punching Mark WreckardsAACR2: The Movie trailer
Two savvy catalogers with varying bibliophilosophies (Lucas Maxwell as Jim Stacks, and Jason Woloski as Mark Wreckards) join up to save the world from the shelf-shuffling Dr. Latefees (David Ross) in this zany video (2:35). A Larry Rakow production (featuring Dalhousie University grads), complete with exclusive clips and outtakes....
AACR2: The Movie

J-Lab ad

ALA Midwinter logo 2008

Erica Leone, Darien (Conn.) Library, tries out the automated check-in
Midwinter 2008 flickr photos

Cover of Helping Homeschoolers in the Library

This practical guidebook by Adrienne Furness seeks to bridge the gap between librarians and homeschoolers in these two ways: Who are homeschoolers and how can I help them practically? Helping Homeschoolers in the Library offers a comprehensive discussion of resources to serve the diverse homeschooling population. NEW! From ALA Editions.

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

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Political Papers Archivist, New Mexico State University Library, Las Cruces. Arranges, describes, and makes physically and electronically accessible the political and congressional papers of the department; provides reference and outreach services to patrons and researchers; supervises staff; and provides training on aspects of the use of the political and congressional collections....

@ More jobs...

Digital Library of the Week

Pan American World Airlines menu, PA Flight 106, Washington to London, May 2, 1983. Meals served: Breakfast; Dinner. Items on menu: Appetizers; Cheese; Entrees; Dessert; Beverage list. Representative dish: Egg Cote d'Azure. Record number PAWA036.

The Northwestern University Transportation Library’s Menu Collection currently includes more than 400 menus from 54 national and international airline carriers, cruise ships, and railroad companies, with coverage from 1929 to the present. U.S. airlines predominate, but European, Asian, African, Australasian, and South American companies are also represented, with particular strength from the 1960s to the late 1980s. The collection began as a gift from Northwestern alumnus George M. Foster who donated his extensive menu collection to the Transportation Library in 1997, where it has since been expanded from other sources. Digitization of the menus was performed according to Northwestern University Library’s established standards for digital imaging: 600 dpi uncompressed TIFF 24-bit color for archival masters and JPEG2000 for delivery.

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

“Everything that’s happened to me since 1956 is all your fault—I hope you’re proud of yourselves.”

—Author Mary Doria Russell (The Sparrow), telling the audience at the Midwinter Meeting that librarians were responsible for her intense reading habits and ultimately her career as an author, Jan. 11.

Cover of Library Technology Reports, Changing the Way We Work

In Changing the Way We Work, the latest issue of Library Technology Reports (now eight issues per year), Michelle Boule reports on technology-enhanced work from several library or library-related projects, including the open-source, software-based integrated library system known as PINES, conducted by the Georgia Public Library Service; and LibraryFind, a federated-search tool built by Oregon State University Libraries.

Ask the ALA Librarian

Library card for Wicomico Public Library, Salisbury, Maryland

Q. One of the seniors at my high school wants to do his final research paper on the history of the library card. Where do we start?

A. Definitely check your interlibrary loan region, particularly any nearby college libraries, for the 1955 ALA publication, Charging Systems, by Helen Thornton Geer, which explains John Cotton Dana’s role in creating the model for modern library circulation in about 1900, along with the machine based on that model that was introduced by the Gaylord Brothers in 1932. An overview of the history of library cards as well as insight into some of the more frequently asked questions about them appears at Circulation. Also see Library Cards for Children. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki....

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.


Jan. 25:

Bibliographical Society of America,
Annual Meeting, Hemmerdinger Hall, New York University.

Jan. 30
Feb. 2:

Ontario Library Association,
Super Conference, Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Feb. 14:
“Science Sleuthing: How to Use Detectives and Mysteries to Lure Kids to Libraries and Spur Interest in Science,”
one-hour web seminar at 11 a.m. Eastern time, led by Elizabeth Rusch, sponsored by Raab Associates.

Feb. 1724:
Music Library Association,
Annual Meeting, Newport, Rhode Island.

Feb. 2426:
National Federation of Advanced Information Services,
Annual Conference, Park Hyatt Philadelphia.

Mar. 67:
WebWise Conference on Libraries and Museums in the Digital World,
Miami Beach Convention Center.

Mar. 1216:
Visual Resources Associaton,
Annual Conference, Westin San Diego at Emerald Plaza.

Mar. 1618:
Association of Information and Dissemination Centers,
Spring Meeting, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Mar. 25-28:
Catholic Library Association,
Annual Convention, Indianapolis.

Apr. 1014:
American Society for Information Science and Technology,
Information Architecture Summit, Miami. “Experiencing Information.”

Apr. 30
May 3:

American Society of Indexers,
Annual Meeting, Warwick Hotel, Denver.

May 15:
Art Libraries Society of North America,
Annual Conference, Denver.

May 48:
International Reading Association,
Annual Convention, Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta.

May 69:
Substance Abuse Librarians and Information Specialists,
Annual Conference, Seattle.

May 1316:
Association of Canadian Map Libraries and Archives,
Annual Conference, University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

May 1621:
Medical Library Association,
Annual Meeting, Chicago.

May 2124:
Canadian Library Association,
Annual Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia.

May 29
June 1:

BookExpo America,
Los Angeles Convention Center.

June 4-6:
Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries,
Annual Meeting, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

June 5-8:
North American Serials Interest Group,
Annual Conference, Tapatio Cliffs Resort, Phoenix, Arizona.

June 912:
Association of Christian Librarians,
Annual Conference, Eastern Nazarene College, Quincy, Massachusetts.

June 10–12:
Northeast Document Conservation Center,
“Digital Directions: Fundamentals of Creating and Managing Digital Collections (The New School for Scanning),” Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront, Jacksonville, Florida. Contact: Julie Martin Carlson.

June 1518:
Special Libraries Association,
Annual Conference, Seattle.

June 2225:
Association of Jewish Libraries,
Annual Convention, Marriott Cleveland East.

June 2528:
American Theological Library Association,
Annual Conference, St. Paul University, Ottawa, Ontario.

June 26
July 2:

American Library Association,
Annual Conference, Anaheim, California.

July 1215:
American Association of Law Libraries,
Annual Meeting, Portland, Oregon.

July 2022:
Church and Synagogue Library Association,
National Conference, Greenville, South Carolina.

@ More...

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