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

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

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AL Buyers Guide

U.S. & World News

Washington State Sen. Tracey EideGrassroots group grows mini-SKILLs bill in Washington State
Characterizing school library media specialists as “an endangered species,” Washington State Sen. Tracey J. Eide (right, D-Federal Way) introduced a bill (SB 6380) January 22 that codifies through a per-pupil formula how many credentialed school library media specialists should be employed by each district and offers some $55 million to fund the initiative. Its aim of guaranteeing the presence in school libraries of certificated staff echoes the language of the federal SKILLs (Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries) Act, introduced in June 2007 as an unfunded amendment to the No Child Left Behind Act and scheduled for Senate committee review in February....

Warrantless wiretap law extended until February 16
On the evening of January 29, the House and Senate passed by voice vote a two-week extension of the Protect America Act, which had been set to expire on February 1. Originally enacted in August 2007 as a six-month amendment to the 30-year-old Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, PAA enabled the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on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. There is no exemption in the PAA for communications traveling to or from U.S. libraries....

Cover of The Golden CompassGolden Compass returns to Calgary schools
The Calgary (Alberta) Catholic School District has returned Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass to its library shelves after ordering its removal two months ago. Calgary was among several Catholic school systems that pulled the fantasy novel, which has been accused of antireligious content, for review following a complaint in the municipality of Halton in late November....

Cover of Give a Boy a GunGive a Boy a Gun triggers a challenge in Pennsylvania
A reconsideration committee for Bangor Area (Pa.) Middle School unanimously voted to keep Todd Strasser’s Give a Boy a Gun on library shelves over a student’s aunt’s concerns about the book’s depiction of school violence. School board members agreed January 21, deciding against tweaking materials selection policy. Published in the aftermath of the Columbine High School shootings, Give a Boy a Gun is a novel in which two students hold classmates and teachers hostage at a school dance....

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ALA News

Loriene RoyRoy to speak at FCC digital television workshop
On Thursday, January 31, ALA President Loriene Roy will speak at the Federal Communications Commission on the role of libraries in supporting tribal and rural communities during the upcoming Digital Television transition. This DTV Consumer Education Workshop will feature panel discussions focusing on both consumers on tribal lands and rural consumers and will explore the challenges associated with ensuring that those groups receive and can act on information regarding the DTV transition....

Notice for Olympia rallyALA rallies in Washington State for school library reform
ALA President Loriene Roy, AASL President Sara Kelly Johns, and school library supporters from across the country will gather at the Washington State Capitol in Olympia at noon on February 1 to rally in support of school library funding and staffing reform and Senate Bill 6380, which would give all students in the state full-time access to school libraries and certified school library media specialists....

Salary survey invitations sent
Library directors and human resources staff at nearly 4,000 public and academic libraries have been sent invitations to participate in the 2008 ALA-APA Library Salary Survey. This year, the survey asks for salary data for six librarian titles. The deadline is February 29. In order to thank participants, all responding institutions will be given 30-day access to the ALA-APA Library Salary Database....

Make your blog or wiki more visible
ALA bloggers are invited to add missing links to the ALA Read Write Connect wiki, which lists all of our known 2.0-ish sites (blogs, wikis, podcasts, discussion forums, etc.). Basically, this is our attempt to bring together in one place all of the online sites where you can interact with ALA staff and colleagues....
ALA Marginalia blog, Jan. 28

AL Focus

Still from Youth Media Awards videoYouth Media Awards 2008
In just 60 seconds of images and sound, AL Focus Editor Dan Kraus conveys his impressions of the Youth Media Awards 2008—the Newbery and Caldecott medals, the Printz award, and others. If you missed the announcements at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, either in person or by webcast or by cellphone, you can glimpse the excitement of the moment in this video. A full list of the winners is on the ALA website....

Booklist Online logo

Oxford language online siteFeatured review: Reference
Oxford Language Dictionaries Online. Nov. 2007. Oxford University Press.
Oxford University Press is known for its excellent bilingual dictionaries in many languages. Libraries may now subscribe to them online. Oxford Language Dictionaries Online currently has French-English, English-French; German-English, English-German; Italian-English, English-Italian; and Spanish-English, English-Spanish dictionaries. The publisher plans to add Russian and Chinese in 2008. Libraries can subscribe to a single language or to any combination of languages. Tabs allow users to select French, German, Italian, or Spanish. The dictionaries are easy to search using the quick search box or advanced options that allow limiting searches by field (headwords or full text) and filtering by speech part, level of formality, and geographical variant....

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

Philadelphia Update

Tom Hayden speaks at Alexander Street Press breakfastVideo of Tom Hayden’s talk at ALA Midwinter
On January 13, Alexander Street Press held its customer appreciation breakfast with guest speaker Tom Hayden. From the 1960s to today, Hayden has been a leading figure in social activism and political reform. Those who were there in the 60s (or have studied the period) remember Hayden as one of the Chicago Seven indicted after antiwar protests outside of the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention. Here he talks about the legacy of the Sixties....
Alexander Street Press

Cognotes Midwinter Highlights issue
If you missed the meeting and want a summary of the big events, browse or download the Highlights issue (PDF file) of Cognotes. ALA members should have received a paper copy in the mail....

Division News

Antique Valentine imageI Love My Librarian Valentine’s Day campaign
The Joint Youth Legislative Committee (AASL, ALSC, and YALSA) has created a campaign to support library legislation with ideas and talking points around Valentine’s Day. To celebrate the holiday, have your teens, parents, children, and library supporters flood federal elected officials’ district offices with Valentines that express love for your library and its staff and ask for support for important legislation....
YALSA wiki

Host institution sought for 2009 Arbuthnot Lecture
Institutions that would like to host next year’s Arbuthnot Lecture, to be given in April or early May 2009 by YA author Walter Dean Myers, will be accepted by the ALSC Arbuthnot Lecture Committee through May 1....

ALSC children and technology survey
Do you feel the need for easy access to updates and information about cutting-edge technology and its use with the kids you serve? The ALSC Children and Technology Committee needs your input. Please complete this brief survey, which will be available through March 1....
ALSC blog, Jan. 27

Register for AASL Spring e-Academy courses
Seven AASL e-Academy courses, offered via a partnership with the University of North Texas Project LE@D, are scheduled to begin April 7. The spring offerings include four facilitated courses and three self-paced courses. All programs offer 24-hour access. Registration is open until April 3....

Library 2.0 initiatives in academic libraries
College & Research Libraries News Editor-in-Chief David Free discusses Library 2.0 with Dawn Lawson of New York University and Susan Sharpless Smith of Wake Forest University in this ACRL podcast (11:58). Lawson and Sharpless Smith are contributors to the ACRL publication Library 2.0 Initiatives in Academic Libraries....

Round Table News

Logo for CLENE Training Showcase 2008CLENE Training Showcase
The Continuing Library Education Network and Exchange Round Table is accepting applications for participants and sponsorships for its Training Showcase, to be held at ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, June 29, 1:30–3:30 p.m. The showcase is a good way to connect one-on-one with colleagues who are using your products and services or your ideas to continue the educational advancement and networking of library staff. The deadline for submitting a proposal is February 22....
CE Buzz, Jan. 28


Orson Scott CardOrson Scott Card’s award stirs up controversy
Debra Lau Whelan writes: “If a well-known author writes and speaks about gays and lesbians in a way that many interpret to be anti-gay, should he be given an award that honors his outstanding lifetime contribution to writing for teens? Librarians, authors, and academics have been debating that complex question since January 14, when this year’s Margaret A. Edwards Award was handed to Orson Scott Card. The award, established in 1988, honors an author and a specific portion of his or her work, and is administered by YALSA and sponsored by School Library Journal.”...
School Library Journal, Jan. 16

Nominations for the Madison awards
The ALA Washington Office is accepting nominations until February 6 for the James Madison Award and the Eileen Cooke State and Local Madison Award. The awards, which will be presented at Freedom of Information Day on March 14, recognize those individuals or groups that have championed, protected, and promoted public access to government information and the public’s right to know....

Peter HernonPeter Hernon is academic/research librarian of the year
Peter Hernon, professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College, is ACRL’s 2008 Academic/Research Librarian of the Year. The award, sponsored by YBP Library Services, recognizes an outstanding member of the library profession who has made a significant contribution to academic/research librarianship and library development. The $5,000 award will be presented at the ACRL President’s Program at ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim....

Shatford Library, Pasadena City CollegeExcellence in Academic Libraries winners
The recipients of the 2008 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award are the Shatford Library at Pasadena (Calif.) City College (right); the Laurence McKinley Gould Library at Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota; and the McMaster University Libraries, Hamilton, Ontario. Sponsored by ACRL and Blackwell’s Book Services, the award recognizes the staff of a college, university, and community college library for programs that deliver exemplary services and resources to further the educational mission of the institution....

Batting for Literacy winner named
Al Smitley of the Northville (Mich.) District Library has been named the winner of the “Batting for literacy @ your library” program for his use of baseball to promote literacy and library services. Smitley will receive a trip for two to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, for a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum and archives. He will also be recognized on field in front of an audience of 10,000 spectators at the 2008 Hall of Fame Game, an exhibition game between two Major League teams held each year at the Hall of Fame’s Doubleday Park, on June 16....

New ALCTS award for 2008
The ALCTS Collection Management and Development Section will present the Coutts Award for Innovation in Electronic Resources Management in 2008. Coutts Information Services has agreed to sponsor the award, which recognizes significant and innovative contributions to electronic collections management and development practice. The award consists of a citation and $2,000 donated by Coutts. The deadline for nominations is March 1....

2008 notable children’s books
ALSC has selected its 2008 list of Notable Children’s Books. The list of titles includes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and picture books of special interest, quality, creativity, and value to children 14 years of age and younger....

2008 notable children’s videos
ALSC has selected its 2008 list of Notable Children’s Videos, which showcases videos for children 14 years of age and younger that exhibit especially commendable quality, show respect for children’s intelligence and imagination, and reflect and encourage the interests of children in exemplary ways....

35 sites added to Great Web Sites for Kids
ALSC has added 35 websites to its Great Web Sites for Kids page, an online resource containing hundreds of links to commendable websites for children. The ALSC Great Web Sites for Kids Committee maintains and updates the site....

BWI/YALSA Collection Development Grant winners
Sarah Daviau of the Lincoln County (Mont.) Public Libraries and Joan Light-Kraft of the Montrose (Colo.) Regional Library District are the winners of the 2008 BWI/YALSA Collection Development Grant. The $1,000 grant is awarded to YALSA members who represent a public library and work directly with young adults ages 12–18....

2008 Baker & Taylor scholarship winners
YALSA has named Sudi Q. Napalan and Charlene Helsel-Kather the recipients of the 2008 Baker & Taylor Conference Grant. Each will receive a $1,000 grant to attend ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California, June 26–July 2. Napalan is the school library media specialist at Saipan Southern High School in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Helsel-Kather is the young adult librarian for the Elyria (Ohio) Public Library....

Apply for a Harvard Leadership Institute scholarship
ACRL is offering two scholarships for the 2008 ACRL/Harvard Leadership Institute, which will be held in Cambridge, Massachusetts, August 3–8. The scholarships are for individuals currently working in historically black colleges and universities, tribal colleges or universities, or Hispanic-serving institutions. The deadline to apply is February 29....

Great Books Giveaway winners
YALSA has named the Margaret Green Junior High School in Cleveland, Mississippi, the winner of its 2008 Great Books Giveaway. Its library will receive one ton of books, audiobooks, and other materials, worth approximately $30,000, from items donated to YALSA in 2007. Camden County (N.C.) High School will receive approximately $4,000 in similar materials....

New ALISE award named for Norman Horrocks
The Association for Library and Information Science Education has established a Norman Horrocks Leadership Award to honor an ALISE member of no more than seven years membership who has demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities in professional ALISE activities. The award honors Norman Horrocks, past president of ALISE and a former ALA councilor for 21 years....
Association for Library and Information Science Education, Jan. 22

New ISTE Media Specialist Technology awards
Entries are being accepted for the first annual International Society for Technology in Education SIG Media Specialist Technology Innovation Award, sponsored by Linworth Publishing, Library Media Connection, and Follett Software Company. The award will be presented to two teams, consisting of a school librarian and collaborating teacher, who have conducted an exemplary technology program extending beyond the library to meet the needs of classroom students and teachers. The deadline is March 15....

Gilroy librarian wins Mover of Mountains award
Lani Yoshimura, community librarian of the Gilroy branch of the Santa Clara County (Calif.) Library, accepted the Mover of Mountains Award January 21 from the Martin Luther King Jr. Association of Santa Clara Valley. The award is presented to an individual whose life and work perpetuates the philosophy and spirit of Dr. King....
Gilroy (Calif.) Dispatch, Jan. 18

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Seen Online

Danish library to exhibit Muhammad cartoons
Denmark’s Royal Library is risking the wrath of Muslims with plans to display controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that sparked violent protest throughout the Islamic world two years ago. The 12 caricatures of Islam’s founder were published in Danish newspapers in September 2005, triggering riots and violence which claimed the lives of over 50 people. The library is classifying the cartoons as “historic” objects alongside other Danish treasures, such as original manuscripts by Martin Luther....
Daily Telegraph (U.K.), Jan. 30

New York archivist charged in thefts from state library
A veteran state archivist said he stole hundreds of historical artifacts from the New York State Library in Albany—including two Davy Crockett almanacs—to pay for home renovations, tuition, and his daughter’s $10,000 credit card bill. Daniel Lorello, accessioning and special project coordinator with the state archives, was arraigned in city court January 28 and allegedly told investigators he took the items on an “as-needed basis” starting in 2002 and auctioned them on the internet....
Albany (N.Y.) Times-Union, Jan. 29

NJLA advocacy postcardNew Jersey Library Association launches grassroots campaign
In attempts to thwart state legislation that would change the long-established formula for funding libraries, the New Jersey Library Association has launched a postcard campaign. Libraries around the state are making the postcards available for patrons to fill out as they browse the shelves. The bill the campaign focuses on, written by Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein, would change the current library funding formula and limit it to a 4% increase per year....
East Brunswick (N.J.) Sentinel, Jan. 24; New Jersey Library Association

New Rochelle trustee arrested in sex sting
The New Rochelle (N.Y.) Public Library is consulting with attorneys to determine how it might deal with a board member caught in an internet sex sting. Frank Pasquale III, whose five-year term on the library board is up for election on May 20, was arrested January 24 in Naugatuck, Connecticut, where police accused him of going for a prearranged sexual encounter with whom he thought was a 14-year-old girl, but instead was a detective....
Lower Hudson Valley (N.Y.) Journal-News, Jan. 29

The line between freedom and safety
Most of the dozen computer terminals on the spacious second level of the Mahopac (N.Y.) Public Library were in use one morning late in January. One terminal was missing, however, having been removed by the police after the arrest of a 53-year-old man from Brewster who the police said was caught downloading images of child pornography while at the library....
New York Times, Jan. 27

Librarians indispensable to Tucson schools
Ann-Eve Pedersen writes: “There’s no ambiguity in the Tucson Unified School District’s own policy statement about the importance of having its libraries staffed by a ‘highly qualified teacher-librarian.’ Yet because of budget problems, TUSD administrators have been floating different plans to eliminate or severely reduce the number of librarians in our schools.”...
Tucson Arizona Daily Star, Jan. 29

Methodists against Bush Library force vote
Methodists opposed to a George W. Bush Presidential Library, museum, and policy institute at Southern Methodist University in Dallas are mounting a last-ditch effort to block a nearly completed deal by throwing the decision to a regional church conference in July. Opponents of the project, including current and retired bishops and faculty members hostile to President Bush over the Iraq war and social issues, say church rules require that an agreement be submitted to the 290 elected delegates of the church’s South Central Jurisdiction....
New York Times, Jan. 30

Massachusetts library raises big bucks with golf fundraiser
Winter winds and swirling snow failed to dampen the enthusiasm that greeted the inaugural miniature golf championship held at the Southworth branch of the Dartmouth (Mass.) Public Library January 27. Dolly Sharek, treasurer of the library foundation, said “We had 274 golfers sign up, and we raised just over $10,000.” Golfers of all ages were challenged by the unique aspect of the library course, which explored all corners of the building with a 10th hole that teed off on the second floor and finished on the first....
New Bedford (Mass.) Standard-Times, Jan. 28

Khmer books enrich Long Beach collection
A small crowd tore with delight into eight tightly sealed cardboard boxes January 28 at the Mark Twain branch of the Long Beach (Calif.) Public Library, pulling out the first of 1,105 new Khmer-language books recently arrived from Cambodia. The additional books will give Long Beach’s sizable Cambodian community some much-needed new reading materials that will serve both young and old....
Long Beach (Calif.) Press-Telegram, Jan. 28

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Tech Talk

Sierra Wireless AirCard 881Say good-bye to Wi-Fi
Sascha Segan writes: “It’s 2008, and I still can’t find a working Wi-Fi hotspot half the time. But that’s okay, because three major cellular service providers now have nationwide high-speed data networks to connect PCs and Macs to the internet pretty much anywhere. One of the major drawbacks, however, is the price youll pay for the privilege of connectivity with USB modem and wireless card plans.”...
PC Magazine, Jan. 23

How to tell if you are addicted to technology
Clara Moskowitz writes: “They’re not called ‘Crackberries’ for nothing. Some people may be as addicted to Blackberries and other personal electronics as junkies are to drugs, according to John O’Neill, director of addictions services for the Menninger Clinic in Houston. These overwired people are so focused on their gadgets, they neglect relationships with other people, O’Neill said. Communication aids such as texting and email may actually hamper our abilities to have more important face-to-face conversations.”...
LiveScience, Jan. 28

iTunes logoMeeting the needs of device-happy teens
Depending on the report, last year saw anywhere from half to three-quarters of teens owning MP3 players. And given that MP3 players remain at the top of teen wish lists, you’re going to see even more teens asking the question: “How do I download MP3s on these computers?” Increasingly, the software and security on your library’s computers is going to decide whether you’re poised to meet teen information needs. Here’s a brief guide to making your library’s computers MP3 capable....
YALSA Blog, Jan. 28

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Actions & Answers

Cover of CIBER report, "Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future"British researchers: The “Google Generation” is a myth
A new study questions the common assumption that the “Google Generation”—youngsters born or brought up in the internet age—is the most web-literate. A virtual longitudinal study (PDF file) carried out by the CIBER research team at University College London claims that, although young people demonstrate an apparent ease and familiarity with computers, they rely heavily on search engines, view rather than read, and do not possess the critical and analytical skills to assess the information that they find on the Web....
British Library, Jan. 16

Cover of SFPL Friends reportNew study lauds the value of San Francisco’s libraries
A study released January 30 by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library quantifies the substantial value that the San Francisco Public Library provides to city residents. Through an examination of an array of library benefits, the study reveals that the SFPL generates an impressive return of $3.34 for every dollar spent on its operations and services....
Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, Jan. 30

Sunshine Week 2008 webcast
A two-part webcast on open government will be held during Sunshine Week on March 19, 1–2:30 p.m. Eastern time. The webcast, hosted by, is free to those who register, but there is an option for a fee-based satellite downlink. The first segment is a panel discussion on executive branch power and secrecy, congressional rights and responsibilities, and the role of the press. The focus of the second segment is on citizen self-help....
District Dispatch, Jan. 30

Cover of Drat That Fat Cat! by Pat ThomsonStorytime with a cat theme
Jennifer Schultz writes: “It’s so disgustingly simple to create a cats storytime that I’m almost ashamed of myself. There’s such a huge assortment of cat-themed picture books that I had difficulty in choosing which books to include. But including oldies-but-goodies is a nice way to reconnect parents, grandparents, and childcare providers with childhood favorites or to introduce ‘neglected’ picture books.”...
ALSC blog, Jan. 23

Can you loan a Kindle to patrons?
Rochelle Hartman asked to verify whether a library would be in violation of its terms of service contract to circulate ebooks on the Kindle. One person she talked to said yes, but a commenter to her blog got a completely different answer: “You will be able to purchase Kindles for your library to use for checking out to patrons, as long as you are not reselling the digital content.” Why the discrepancy?...
Tinfoil + Raccoon blog, Jan. 28 now offers forums
Rachel Singer Gordon has launched LISJobs Forum, a discussion place for librarians to share ideas and experiences related to career development. Current threads include job-hunting strategies, professional success, and LIS education....

Growth in gaming far outpaces movies, music
2007 was a banner year for video gaming, and the industry has the figures to prove it. The Entertainment Software Association announced January 24 that total sales for 2007 were $18.85 billion, with $9.5 billion of that spent on games (both PC and console) and $9.35 billion on consoles. The motion picture industry saw a modest growth in 2007, but things aren’t going as smoothly for the music industry....
Ars Technica, Jan. 24

Meeples in the fields, from CarcassonneCarcassonne: The board game
Brian Mayer writes: “There are very few board games that have had a profound effect on the gaming cultural iconography. Carcassonne’s meeples permeate gaming fan imagery. People have self-crafted life-size meeples, made meeple cakes, and even taken photos of their meeples in France, the locale of the game. Along with Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne helped refocus part of the gaming culture back towards board games.”...
Library Gamer blog, Jan. 22

Thoughts on the essence of Library 2.0
Meredith Farkas writes: “I found John Blyberg’s post, Library 2.0 Debased, very interesting and in many ways, a breath of fresh air. I agree with him on a lot of levels. I agree that mistakes have been made. I think there has been a lot of confusing rhetoric about Library 2.0. I think a lot of people lost touch with what their patrons actually needed and wanted and started implementing cool technologies because they thought that was what Library 2.0 was about. I think the only thing we really disagree on is whether Library 2.0 actually has a single coherent definition.”...
Information Wants to Be Free blog, Jan. 24

Cover of Right to Research brochureNew SPARC student campaign for Open Access
The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition has released a new educational initiative to engage students on the topic of Open Access. “The Right to Research” repeats SPARC’s call for student voices to broaden the ongoing discussion of access to research. The campaign includes a brochure, a website, and other informative materials....
Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, Jan. 28

USC LISSA calendar, front coverMildly attractive guybrarian calendar
The University of South Carolina School of Library and Information Science Student Association has created a “Mildly Attractive Men of SLIS” calendar as a fundraising effort to send students to the 2008 IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Quebec. “A different guybrarian each month! One for every taste!”...
University of South Carolina LISSA

What young people can expect from the library
The UK Museums, Libraries, and Archives Council issued a statement January 29 defining what young people should be entitled to from their local library. The statement is part of a wider agenda to ensure children and young people, both through schools and other institutions such as libraries, have increasing access to cultural services and learning opportunities....
Museums, Libraries, and Archives Council, Jan. 29

Still from Massachusetts library TV spotMassachusetts library promo
The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners developed this TV spot to promote its new website that connects state residents with their local libraries, even virtually: “You can get everything the library offers, even when you’re not actually at the library.” It also includes a link to Mass Answers, a 24/7 reference chatline....
Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners

Still from Harper College Library tour videoTour the Harper College Library
Hop on a cart and take a video tour (2:40) of the Harper College Library in Palatine, Illinois, while the knowledgable staff quides you to your destination, whether that’s the information desk, a quiet room, the stacks, the reference desk, or circulation. “Good morning! Would you like a beverage or a pillow?”...
YouTube, Dec. 13

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ALA Annual Conference logo

ALA Annual Conference is in Anaheim, California, June 26–July 2. Early bird registration closes March 7. Join us for the SupERTuesday Breakfast Reception sponsored by Exhibits Round Table, your exhibitors, and ALA, on the exhibits floor, 9 a.m.–12 noon Tuesday, July 1.

Cover of February 1 issue of Booklist

The February 1 issue of Booklist spotlights Black History Month. Hazel Rochman interviews Christopher Paul Curtis; Ian Chipman profiles author-illustrator Kadir Nelson, whose We Are the Ship, a stunning celebration of Negro League baseball, receives a starred review; and Brad Hooper serves up “African American Cuisine,” perhaps the magazine’s tastiest Core Collection entrée yet. NEW! From Booklist.

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

PLA National Conference 2008 logo

PLA Virtual Conference in 2008

If you can’t make the trip to Minneapolis on March 27–28, you can still participate virtually in the PLA National Conference. Read more about PLA’s first-ever Virtual Conference, and register online.

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Systems Administrator, Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library. We’re looking for someone in love with systems, servers, tech projects, and change. Someone capable of bringing cutting-edge ideas to the table and who thrives in a culture of teamwork. Someone who finds satisfaction in enabling the majority to do great things through technology....

@ More jobs...

Tune In Teen Tech Week logo

Only five weeks until Teen Tech Week, March 2–8! Be sure to register your library for TTW by February 4. Check here for a few things you can do to get ready.

Digital Library of the Week

J. G. Bartholomew's Island of Bombay, from volume 8 of the Imperial gazetteer of India. New edition, published under the authority of His Majesty's Secretary of State for India in Council. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1907-1909.

The Digital South Asia Library provides digital materials for reference and research on South Asia to scholars, public officials, business leaders, and other users. This project builds upon a two-year pilot project funded by the Association of Research Libraries’ Global Resources Program with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Participants in the Digital South Asia Library include leading U.S. universities, the Center for Research Libraries, the South Asia Microform Project, the Committee on South Asian Libraries and Documentation, the Association for Asian Studies, the Library of Congress, the Asia Society, the British Library, the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, MOZHI in India, the Sundarayya Vignana Kendram in India, Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya in Nepal, and other institutions in South Asia.

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

“Self-satisfaction with the inability to remain conscious when faced with printed matter seems questionable. But I also want to question the assumption— whether gloomy or faintly gloating—that books are on the way out. I think they’re here to stay. It’s just that not all that many people ever did read them. Why should we think everybody ought to now?”

—Author Ursula K. Le Guin, on the National Endowment for the Arts 2004 report on the decline of reading fiction, “Staying Awake: Notes on the Alleged Decline of Reading,” Harpers, Feb. 2008, pp. 33–38.

“Public libraries.”

—Comedian Sarah Silverman, in her list of 34 “Things That Don’t Suck,” Wired, Jan. 18, along with Guitar Hero, the set design on Mad Men, and salt-and-vinegar potato chips.

Ask the ALA Librarian

Notable Book for Children seal

Q. I know there are seals libraries can buy for children's books that win awards from the American Library Association. Are there seals I can buy to put on the copies of those books that our library already owns that were named Notable Books for Children?

A. Yes! Seals for the Children’s Notable Lists—and several of the other ALA literary awards—may be purchased in packages of 24 through the ALA Online Store. Rolls of 1,000 pressure- sensitive seals may also be purchased by special arrangement. Seals are available for bulk sales for many ALA awards. (See the ALA Professional Tips wiki for details.) Just a reminder that ALA Award and Notable Seals are the sole property of the American Library Association. Publishers or any other organizations are prohibited from reproducing seals without permission from ALA. Seals may only be placed on the media that originally won the award. For example, a video treatment of a Newbery-winning book should not carry a Newbery seal.....

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.


Feb. 6:

Follett Lecture,
Dominican University GSLIS, River Forest, Illinois. Steven Herb, a past president of ALSC, talks about “The Importance of Libraries in the Lives of Young Children.” Contact: GSLIS, (708) 524-6845.

Feb. 10:
Frances Clarke Sayers Lecture,
Korn Auditorium, University of California, Los Angeles. Panel consists of David Diaz, Sid Fleischman, Cynthia Kadohata, and Michael Cart. Contact: (310) 206-0375.

Feb. 28–
Mar. 2:

Alaska Library Association,
Conference, Fairbanks Princess Riverfront Lodge. “Can’t Stop Raven About Libraries.”

Mar. 4–6:
Louisiana Library Association,
Conference, Shreveport Convention Center.

Mar. 14:
National Information Standards Organization,
Digital Preservation Forum, Holiday Inn on the Hill, Washington, D.C. “Planning Today for Tomorrow’s Resources.” Contact: NISO.

Mar. 15:
SPLAT! A Graphic Novel Symposium,
New York Center for Independent Publishing, New York City. Keynote speaker will be Scott McCloud. Contact: NYCIP.

Apr. 9–11:
New Mexico Library Association,
Conference, Las Cruces. “Seek-Learn-Inspire.”

Apr. 9–11:
Kansas Library Association, Conference, Century City II Convention Center, Wichita.

Apr. 9–11:
Tennessee Library Association, Conference, Meadowview Convention Center, Kingsport.

Apr. 9–12:
Montana Library Association,
Conference, Heritage Inn, Great Falls. “Libraries: Montana’s Voice for Freedom.”

Apr. 15-18:
Texas Library Association,
Conference, Dallas. “Books, Bytes, and Beyond.”

Apr. 15–18:
Oregon Library Association / Washington Library Association,
Joint Conference, Vancouver, Washington. “Sharing More than a Border.”

Apr. 16:
Lazerow Lecture,
Dominican University GSLIS, River Forest, Illinois. Rosalind Picard, director of MIT’s Affective Computing Research Group, will present “From Tin Man to Cyborg: Technology and Emotional Intelligence.” Contact: GSLIS, (708) 524-6845.

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