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

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

SirsiDynix ad

AL Buyers Guide

U.S. & World News

Colorado book thief sentenced
Thomas Pilaar, 34, who pleaded guilty in May to stealing thousands of items from Denver Public Library and the systems in nearby Aurora, Arapahoe County, and Douglas County, was sentenced July 8 to 10 years in prison and $53,549 in restitution. Pilaar took about 1,400 books and DVDs by checking them out on his own and other people’s library cards....

Highsmith logoHighsmith purchased by W. W. Grainger
Library supply company Highsmith, headquartered in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, has been purchased by Lab Safety Supply, a direct-marketing subsidiary of Chicago-based facilities maintenance supplier W. W. Grainger. Terms of the acquisition, announced in the business press July 10, were not disclosed. The company is an ALA Library Champion and funds two ALA awards—PLA’s Highsmith Library Innovation Award, and AASL’s Highsmith Research Grant....

ALA News

How has your library stepped up to the plate?
The Campaign for America’s Libraries is collecting stories from libraries across the country about how they have promoted the third season of “Step Up to the Plate @ your library.” Best-practice examples will be posted to the “Step Up to the Plate” website. From now until August 12, libraries are encouraged to submit stories, photos, and videos of their activities. Upload videos to the “Step Up to the Plate” group on YouTube, submit photos to the “Step Up to the Plate” group on Flickr, or submit a story by email....

Visions of the Universe logoHost “Visions of the Universe”
Public libraries are invited to apply to host “Visions of the Universe: Four Centuries of Discovery,” a traveling exhibition developed by the ALA Public Programs Office, in cooperation with the Space Telescope Science Institute and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, to mark the International Year of Astronomy in 2009. The exhibit will travel to 40 selected public libraries from January 2009 through December 2010....

Digital copyright slider imageDigital copyright slider
The Office for Information Technology Policy is now offering a digital copyright slider to go alongside its physical one. Thanks to Michael Brewer, OITP Copyright Advisory Committee member and designer of both tools. Simply align the arrows by date of publication to determine a work’s copyright status and term....
District Dispatch, July 16

Retiring, or know someone who is?
Sign up for “Capturing Our Stories,” an initiative of ALA immediate Past President Loriene Roy intended to gather the life histories of experienced librarians as they exit their careers. The recordings and transcripts of these oral history interviews will become part of the ALA permanent archive. The project is hosted by the School of Information at the University of Texas, which is developing an interactive website to archive the interviews. Fill out the volunteer interviewer or interviewee forms....
University of Texas School of Information

Libraries and e-government services
ALA Council passed a resolution at Annual Conference urging Congress to reemphasize its commitment to support the role of libraries in delivering e-government services. The Public Library Funding and Technology Access study (PDF file) found that, every day, 74% of public library staff assisted federal, state, and local governments in achieving their missions....

National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MarylandSupport the National Agricultural Library
ALA Council passed a resolution at Annual Conference urging Congress to fund the National Agricultural Library for fiscal year 2009 at the $22-million level recommended by the House Agricultural Subcommittee. The NAL is the world’s largest agricultural library, providing collections, journals, databases, and other data and information services that help citizens establish successful agricultural practices....

Resolution on sound recordings
ALA Council passed a resolution at Annual Conference on sound recordings made prior to February 1972, emphasizing the need for their preservation and accessibility. The Council urges Congress to charge the U.S. Copyright Office to study the desirability of bringing sound recordings made before February 15, 1972, under federal jurisdiction....

ALA-APA passes living wage resolution
The ALA–Allied Professional Association Council passed a living wage resolution for library employees at ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. On June 30, the ALA-APA Standing Committee on the Salaries and Status of Library Workers brought forward a resolution supporting an increase in minimum salary for librarians to $41,680 per year and library workers at $13 an hour....

Deborah Caldwell-StoneCaldwell-Stone discusses banned books
Deborah Caldwell-Stone, deputy director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, talks about the annual list of the top 10 banned books, as well as other issues related to intellectual freedom in the first of a two-part audio interview....
Visibility @ your library, July 11

AL Focus

Jamie Lee Curtis at Annual Conference, a still from the video wrap-upAnaheim conference wrap-up
More than 22,000 attendees soaked up the rays in Anaheim, California, June 26–July 2 at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference. This compendium (4:12) of conference highlights includes such luminaries as Jamie Lee Curtis, Dean Koontz, Lisa Loeb, Wes Studi, Vernon Jordan, Ron Reagan, Khaled Hosseini, and Diahann Carroll, and events like the Parade of Bookmobiles, the Book Cart Drill Team Championship, and a musical number by members of RUSA. No, seriously....

Jim Draper from Gale/Cengage Learning, from the Speaking Technically videoSpeaking Technically, 2008
Seven leading publishers share their insights on the future of reference databases at American Libraries’ second annual “Speaking Technically” panel (8:31) at ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. Moderated by AL Direct Editor George Eberhart, the panelists talk about their new products and ideas for enhanced services. The panel was comprised of representatives from Gale/Cengage Learning, Alexander Street Press, Ebrary, EBSCO Publishing, Greenwood Publishing Group, Capital IQ, and ProQuest....

Booklist Online logo

Cover of Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World HistoryFeatured review: Reference
Smith, Bonnie G. (editor). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History. Feb. 2008. 2,752 p. Oxford, hardcover (978-0-19-514890-9).
Aiming to survey “women’s history in all parts of the world and at all times in the past,” The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History contains nearly 1,250 entries and subentries covering not only individual women but a very wide range of other topics, from Brazil to Buddhism, Feminism to Footbinding, and Welfare state to Witchcraft. Biographical coverage is “representative rather than exhaustive.” The biographical entries are among the shortest—generally less than a page in length—and, with a few exceptions, cover women who are deceased. Under Polygamy in the index, readers will find references to the practice in ancient China and Egypt, in Iraq, in Russia, and among the Aztecs, to name just a few. This global perspective, bolstered by the fact that the 900 or so contributors represent “some fifty countries around the world,” is one of the set’s most important contributions....

She Reads logo, with Kaite Mediatore StoverWhat gals read
Kaite Mediatore Stover writes: “I am easily infatuated. Nowhere does this happen more often than at my library’s service desk, where I develop a crush on almost every reader who asks for help finding the next good book. My reader-patrons make me think about books and reading in so many different ways, and they are a constant source of material for this column. I would be lost and jobless without them. This is my paean to the female readers who make me a readers’ advisor.”...

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

Division News

YALSA adopts strategic plan, research journal
The YALSA Board of Directors adopted a new strategic plan (PDF file) and voted to create a new online research journal at ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. After months of discussions and input from YALSA members, leaders, and other stakeholders, the board created the nine-page document to create goals for the association and establish a vision for its future. The YALSA Research Committee will create a mission statement and refereeing process for the journal and submit them to the board at the 2009 Midwinter Meeting....

Sarah DebraskiInterview with YALSA President Sarah Debraski
Newly inaugurated YALSA President Sarah Cornish Debraski answers burning questions about pop culture, YA librarianship and literature, leadership, and parenthood. Her best advice: “You don’t have to act like a teen to get along with teens. You can be approachable, friendly, warm, but don’t try to be something you’re not.”...
Pop Goes the Library, July 14

YALSA establishes leadership endowment
A new YALSA Leadership Endowment will support the development of future leaders both within the association and throughout the profession to ensure the future growth of the division and the field of young adult librarianship. To learn more, visit the YALSA website....

AASL learning standards to get boost with L4L
The AASL Board of Directors approved the development of Learning 4 Life (L4L), a 3–5 year plan to nationally implement the “Standards for the 21st-Century Learner” and other guidelines being developed for school library media programs. Launch is scheduled for this fall....

ACRL Instruction Section logoFive things you should read about copyright
The ACRL Instruction Section’s Research and Scholarship Committee has launched a “5 Things” series of publications that focus on topics of importance to instruction librarians. The first is “5 Things You Should Read about Copyright and Sharing Instructional Materials” (PDF file), which offers material that helps articulate why sharing is important and gives concrete examples of successful sharing projects....

Round Table News

ERT Silent Auction
The Exhibits Round Table generated more than $13,000 for ALA scholarships from its Silent Auction at ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. See the prizes and check out the final bids on the World Wrestling Entertainment gift pack donated by Simon and Schuster and the flat-screen TV donated by ETS....


APEX Award logoYALS wins APEX Award
YALSA’s quarterly journal Young Adult Library Services has received a 2008 APEX Award for Publication Excellence. The journal was recognized in the category of Journals and Magazines over 32 pages. The journal won for issues from its fifth and sixth volume, which were edited by Valerie Ott. The APEX Awards are based on excellence in graphic design, editorial content, and the success of the entry in achieving overall communications effectiveness and excellence....

Swap and Shop Best of Show winners
The LAMA Swap and Shop Committee announced the winners of the 2008 Best of Show awards June 29 at Annual Conference in Anaheim. The awards recognize the best library public relations and marketing materials from the previous year, across 12 material types and four budget categories. New this year were two video categories—one for videos 30 seconds and under, and one for videos 31 seconds to 5 minutes....

RUSA Reference Research Grant
RUSA has awarded a research grant of $2,000 to a team of Kent State University Libraries and Media Services staff for its proposal titled “Building a Model of Excellent Reference Service Based on WOREP Data.” The WOREP (Wisconsin-Ohio Reference Evaluation Program) is a system that evaluates in-person reference services....

LAMA/IIDA Interior Design Awards
Winners of the LAMA/International Interior Design Association Awards were honored at a reception at ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim and will be featured in an upcoming issue of Contract magazine. The biennial awards honor excellence in library interior design, incorporating aesthetics, design creativity, function, and satisfaction of the client’s objectives....

Cover of Salman Rushdie's Midnight's ChildrenSalman Rushdie wins Best of the Booker prize
Salman Rushdie’s 1981 novel Midnight’s Children won the Best of the Booker award July 10, topping a public poll to select the most outstanding novel published in the past 40 years and burnishing the reputation of a book that garnered the Booker of Bookers prize 15 years ago. Rushdie defeated competition from six other finalists to honor the finest novel to have won the U.K.’s annual Man Booker Prize for Fiction since its inception....
Bloomberg, July 10

Broward County wins five NACIO awards (PDF file)
Broward County (Fla.) Library was selected as the recipient of five awards from the National Association of Counties. The annual awards competition drew entries from 22 states. Awards are given for both print and online media as well as for design and special projects. The library won two awards of excellence and three merit awards....
Broward County (Fla.) Library, July 16

Seen Online

Viacom and YouTube logosGoogle and Viacom agree to preserve user privacy
The Google-Viacom showdown over the handover of YouTube user data appears to be over. The two sides agreed to changes in a previous ruling that would have required Google to hand over user ID’s, IP addresses, and a list of all viewed YouTube videos to Viacom in connection with their ongoing copyright infringement litigation. The new order, filed July 14, states that Google will substitute user ID’s and IP addresses for anonymous but unique identifiers....
TechCrunch, July 14

Shakespeare First Folio, 1623Book collector claims innocence in Durham Shakespeare theft
A British man arrested over the theft of a First Folio edition of Shakespeare insisted July 13 he was the owner of a different book. Raymond Scott, 51, walked into Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., two weeks ago with what experts say is a book stolen from Durham University Library in England in December 1998. But Scott claims the book seized by police in Sunderland was a different copy of the folio that he came across in Cuba through a friend of his 21-year-old fiancée....
Newcastle (U.K.) Journal, July 14

Texas Archives wins suit over two historic documents
Two documents related to the Texas Revolution and the Battle of the Alamo are on their way back to the Texas State Archives collection in Austin after a judge ruled that they belong to the people of Texas and not to the estate of a prominent Beaumont-area family. After a four-hour trial, Judge Ronald L. Walker in Jefferson County said July 11 that even though he ruled in favor of returning the documents to the state, he thinks former archivists should have been more rigorous decades ago in protecting historical materials....
Austin (Tex.) American-Statesman, July 12

Three who voted out Margolis have links to city
Three trustees of the Boston Public Library who voted to oust the library’s longtime president Bernard A. Margolis last November have substantial business ties with the city, raising questions about their independence from Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s administration. Each of the three trustees—Zamawa Arenas, Donna M. DePrisco, and Karyn M. Wilson—also failed to disclose those ties as required by the state conflict-of-interest law, according to a review of filings at the city clerk’s office....
Boston Globe, July 13

Bush Library suspends foreign donations
Faced with a report that a rogue lobbyist urged an exiled Central Asian leader to support the George W. Bush Presidential Library to curry favor in Washington, library officials promised
that no foreign money will be accepted until President Bush leaves office. The Houston-based lobbyist Stephen Payne resigned July 15 from a Homeland Security advisory committee studying border policy after he offered access to senior administration officials to two men posing as agents of Kyrgyzstan’s former president if they donated to the Bush Library....
Dallas Morning News, July 17

Cover of Shortbus videoBloomington pulls Shortbus from circulation
A DVD called pornographic by a library customer has been pulled from the Bloomington (Ill.) Public Library shelves. Library Director Georgia Bouda said July 14 that a review by a library committee resulted in a unanimous agreement to remove the DVD of the independent film Shortbus, although removing material from the library is rare. Patron Bill Swearingen had complained about the movie....
Bloomington (Ill.) Pantagraph, July 15

Socially awkward? Hit the books
A group of Toronto researchers have compiled a body of evidence showing that bookworms have exceptionally strong people skills. Their years of research—summed up in an article by Keith Oatley in the June 28 issue of New Scientist—has shown that readers of narrative fiction scored higher on tests of empathy and social acumen than those who read nonfiction texts. And follow-up research showed that reading fiction may help fine-tune these skills: People assigned to read a New Yorker short story did better on social reasoning tests than those who read an essay from the same magazine....
Toronto Globe and Mail, July 10

Stolen Torahs stun congregations
During services in May, Rabbi Yosef Landa opened the holy ark in his St. Louis-area synagogue and reached for the sacred Torah. Stunned, he stopped. Members of the congregation gasped. One of two Torah scrolls stored in the repository was missing. The handwritten scroll is valued at about $30,000—about the same as the three other Torah scrolls stolen in the past year in the United States....
Kansas City (Mo.) Star, July 11

Missouri governor signs cyberbullying bill in library
Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt signed into law a measure June 30 that targets stalking and harassment on the internet, just two miles from where a teenage girl killed herself in 2006 after receiving cruel messages online. The signing was held in the Middendorf-Kredell branch of the St. Charles City-County Library District in O’Fallon. The bill revises the state’s harassment law by including telephone and electronic communications....
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 1

Book return image, from Unique Management ServicesUnique overdue collection firm employs seminarians
Some 900 libraries in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Australia have retained a collection agency that works exclusively with libraries to recover property and get deadbeat borrowers to pay fines and fees. Unique Management Services, in Jeffersonville, Indiana, doesn’t use tough-talking, pay-us-or-we’ll-ruin-your-credit collection agents. It employs seminarians. Who better than a future pastor to politely argue the moral probity of giving back what doesn’t belong to you? The firm has even trademarked what it calls the “gentle nudge” process of persuading borrowers to repent and return....
Philadelphia Inquirer, July 13

Inner city kids use library as escape from violence
The Center Street branch of the Milwaukee Public Library is just blocks from where a shooting that killed four people shocked the city. Less than a week later, it’s a place for young people to come and rent videos, read books, and sign on to the internet as if nothing in their lives has changed. “I haven’t heard a lot about [the shooting] from the kids who come in, but I know they realize what happened,” said Branch Manager Kirsten Thompson....
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, July 9

Texas City library gets newspaper archive
The Moore Memorial Public Library in Texas City, Texas, now has 95 years of newspaper microfilm that offers its patrons an unprecedented look at the city’s history, including the infamous Texas City Disaster of April 1947. The microfilm, donated by the Galveston County Daily News, includes editions of the Texas City Times and Texas City Sun from 1909 to 2004....
Galveston County (Tex.) Daily News, July 9

Tech Talk

iPhone 3GA look at the iPhone 3G
Ellyssa Kroski writes: “This month I had a Library Technology Report published on the mobile Web; however, it was written before Apple’s release of the new iPhone 3G. This article attempts to provide a bit of an update to that, delineating some of the improvements to the device with its second issue as well as pointing out a few of the shortcomings that have been expressed by early reviewers.”...
iLibrarian, July 13

What does it take to get a PC with XP?
Christopher Null writes: “I won’t waste time rehashing the argument over whether Windows Vista is any good. The fact remains that lots of people prefer Windows XP, and they’ll go to great lengths to get it. The problem: Windows XP officially went off the market on June 30, and computer vendors aren’t supposed to sell new machines configured with any version of Windows except Vista. Fortunately for XP enthusiasts and Vista vetoers, the PC marketplace still has a loophole or two in it.”...
PC World, July 16

Booksprouts logoBooksprouts: Taking book clubs online
Kate writes: “If you do manage to eke out the time to participate in a book group, the last thing you want to spend it on is taking care of all the details about what to read and when to meet. Enter Booksprouts, an online community designed specifically to help book clubs organize and communicate the details. Clubs can be open to the public or invitation-only, and you can either select the book for the group to read yourself or let group members nominate a title and then put them up to a vote.”...
Infodoodads, July 11

Shortcuts to juice up your BlackBerry
Katherine Boehret writes: “If you’re a BlackBerry user, you’re probably getting tired of hearing about all the things Apple’s iPhone can do. Rumor even has it that a more iPhone-like BlackBerry is in the works. But don’t despond: Your current trusty emailing device has a few tricks up its sleeve that you may not know about.”...
The Mossberg Solution, July 15


Anne Carroll Moore in the 1930s. Courtesy of New York Public LibraryAnne Carroll Moore and the battle that reshaped children’s literature
Jill Lepore writes: “Anne Carroll Moore was born in Limerick, Maine, in 1871. When she was 24, she moved to New York, where she more or less invented the children’s library. In 1906, the New York Public Library hired Moore to oversee children’s programs at all the branch libraries and plan a Central Children’s Room. Much of what Moore did in that room after it opened in 1911 had never been done before, or half as well.” But she had a big problem with a mouse called Stuart Little....
New Yorker, July 21

New Kindle due in October
An insider let slip that two new Amazon Kindle models will hit stores this holiday season, with the first coming as early as October. The first is an updated version with the same screen size, a smaller form factor, and an improved interface. The second new model, which is shaped like an 8 1/2 x 11-inch piece of paper, is considerably bigger than the current model and should be available next year. Both models should come in multiple colors aimed at younger readers....
CrunchGear, July 15

You are not reading enough
Columnist Mark Morford writes: “The question has been posed by agents and writers and a confused, hyperconsolidating publishing industry: What happened to all the readers? Overall, the message is bleak: Fewer writers of real talent are being discovered, fewer publishers are willing to take any sort of risk, and serious, literary-minded reading, that glorious pastime, that immersive and transportive and beautiful intellectual fertilizer, appears to be giving way to the more addictive but far less nourishing hellbeast of new media and the Net.”...
San Francisco Chronicle, July 9

AL Buyers Guide ad

Actions & Answers

More Gates grants for 11 states
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced $8.1 million in grants July 15 to help public libraries in 11 states improve and sustain free, quality access to computers. These Opportunity Online grants specifically will help upgrade computer hardware in public libraries serving communities with high concentrations of poverty that are at risk of having outdated technology. This is the second of three rounds of Opportunity Online grants....
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, July 15

National Book Festival 2008 posterLC organizes 8th annual National Book Festival
The 2008 National Book Festival, organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress and hosted by First Lady Laura Bush, will be held September 27 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Among some 70 authors and illustrators participating this year are Tiki Barber, Marc Brown, Salman Rushdie, Daniel Schorr, Alexander McCall Smith, Paul Theroux, and Dionne Warwick....
Library of Congress, July 14

Cover of new LC digital preservation reportLC releases report on copyright and digital preservation
The Library of Congress has released an International Study on the Impact of Copyright Law on Digital Preservation (PDF file), a joint effort of the LC National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, the Joint Information Systems Committee, the Open Access to Knowledge Law Project, and the SURFfoundation. One of its recommendations: “Allow preservation institutions to proactively preserve at-risk copyrighted materials before they deteriorate, are damaged, or are lost, and before any software or hardware required to access and use the material becomes obsolete.”...
Library of Congress, July 14

What do you do all day?
Share the joys and challenges of working in a library by recording the details of your days for one week on your blog and adding a link to the Library Day in the Life wiki. It’s a good way for your colleagues to see and compare how you spend your days, and students interested in the library profession can find out what we really do. See Bobbi Newman’s blog for an example....
Library Day in the Life wiki; Librarian by Day, July 7

Trump Taj Mahal Casino and ResortNew Jersey librarians trained at Trump’s Casino
The Trump Taj Mahal Casino and Resort in Atlantic City was the site of a unique training opportunity for librarians from across New Jersey. On June 19, Trump Entertainment Resorts and the New Jersey State Library partnered to offer customer service training to 120 library staff members. The idea for this unusual union was suggested by New Jersey State Librarian Norma Blake. The customer service training model used by Trump Entertainment Resorts is known as “Acknowledge, Connect, and Thank.”...
New Jersey State Library, July 11

American Heritage Preservation Program
The Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Bank of America Charitable Foundation have announced the 2009 guidelines for the American Heritage Preservation Program. This new public-private partnership will fund the preservation of endangered and fragile art works, rare books, scientific specimens, and historical documents (photographs, maps, deeds) held in small and medium-sized museums, libraries, and archives. The deadline for applying for these grants of up to $3,000 is September 15....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, July 10

Flood damage at Cedar Rapids Public LibraryHelp for Cedar Rapids Public Library
The Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Public Library suffered extensive damage from flooding June 12–14. The entire adult collection was lost, and it may be one year or more before the building can be occupied again. Tax-deductible monetary donations (checks or money orders) may be sent to the CRPL Foundation, 500 First Street SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401....
Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Public Library

Gamers, step up and be counted
The Gaming Census is an annual survey done by Scott Nicholson, associate professor at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies, and is designed to collect information about gaming programs run in libraries. This can be any type of game (board, card, video, chess, puzzle) at any type of library during calendar year 2007. The focus is on gaming programs where libraries schedule an event of some type that features games. You can take the survey through July 31....
News about Games and Gaming, July 12

Cover of The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread by Don Robertson, one of Nancy Pearl's airplane picksRecommended airplane reading
Nancy Pearl on NPR: “One of my worst nightmares is being stuck on a plane without a good book to read. Happily, after much trial and error—and packing far too many books—I’ve finally realized what makes a perfect carry-on book: It has to be complex enough to smother your annoyance when the guy in the row ahead reclines his seat into your lap, but not so intellectually challenging that it demands a dictionary.” Here are some of her picks....
NPR Morning Edition, July 10

What librarians can learn from Starbucks
Steven Bell writes: “The announcement that Starbucks would close 600 stores and lay off approximately 1,200 employees has a fair number of analysts asking what happened. According to John Quelch, Starbucks was failing to sustain what made them so popular in the first place—the experience. But librarians can use that knowlege to help establish a more sustainable library user experience.”...
Designing Better Libraries, July 11

Merlot with Les MiserablesBibliobeverages
Keir Graff writes: “The ever-watchful George Eberhart sent this list to me as a suggestion for book groups to recommend beverages to match the books they are reading: Merlot with Les Misérables, Chianti with Petrarch, Mead with Beowulf, Cold Duck with Bukowski, and Constantia with Alan Paton. If we may move beyond fermenting to the craft of distilling, we could add even more pairings, like martinis with The Thin Man. Now that’s a book group I’d love to join!”...
Likely Stories, July 15

Academic libraries in China
ALA President Jim Rettig writes: “The Chinese American Librarians Association invited me to participate in the 2008 Sino-U.S. Forum for Library Practice in Kunming, China. Speakers from China, all of them directors of university libraries, stressed the survival of the academic library as a recurrent theme. They cited the need for libraries to digitize the unique items in their special collections as a way to demonstrate the distinct contribution each can make. But they didn’t address issues about the library’s survival once these collections are digitized and as widely available as the contents of the Million Books project.”...
Twilight Librarian, July 14

What’s the big deal? You just import it, right?
Laurel Tarulli writes: “It never ceases to amaze me that some new librarians (and not so new) continue to believe that catalogers just import and dump records into the catalog, without any editing. After all, who gives a fig about uniformity, misspellings, local subject headings, and access issues? Oh wait, they do—but only when faced with it at the front line. Where are library schools in this? Where does this ‘it’s just copy cataloging’ mentality come from?”...
The Cataloguing Librarian, July 14

Card catalog from Bibliotheca Publicus exhibit at TuftsBibliotheca Publicus: An endangered species
Mixed media artist Mindy Nierenberg is one of five artists featured in “5 x 5,” the Tufts University Art Gallery Summer 2008 Exhibition in Medford, Massachusetts. Her site-specific art installation, “Bibliotheca Publicus: An Endangered Species,” calls attention to the current and very serious issue of public library budget cuts and highlights the importance of the public library to a democratic society and the public it serves. The installation includes library memorabilia and almost 200 discarded books, purchased through local Friends organizations....
I Love Libraries

Lobby card for Storm CenterLibrarians: One of cinema’s invisible professions
Moira Finnie examines the various films in which librarians have appeared as characters: “Despite the often trite and dismissive way that movies sometimes sought to treat libraries and librarians, a few films address real-life issues facing libraries in a non-stereotyped way. One of the best and least seen is Storm Center (1956), directed by Daniel Taradash for Columbia. Starring Bette Davis, it addressed the place of the public library in the life of the community, even when that community is uncomfortable with the ideas fostered by an institution.”...
Movie Morlocks, July 9

Still from Libraries Are Going to Make It After All, showing Valerie Ware and a patronLibraries are going to make it after all
Valerie Ware plays a Mary Tyler Moore–like librarian who can save libraries from a predicted doom date of 2019 in this video (1:34) from Half Hollow Hills Community Library in Dix Hills, New York. Cowritten by Karen Cognato and Ellen Druda....
YouTube, July 12

Crisis Prevention Institute ad

Cover of July 2008 Book Links

Looking for ways to get kids excited about history? The July issue of Book Links offers features on historical fiction for newly independent readers, interviews with award-winning historical writers Milton Meltzer and Susan Campbell Bartoletti, and a conversation with Peter Sís about his Cold War memoir The Wall. NEW! From Book Links.

In this issue
June/July 2008

Cover of June/July 2008 issue

Your Circle of Wellness

Be Outstanding in Your Fieldwork

Conference Preview: California Dreamin’

Tastes for All Tastes

California Libraries: Places of Diversity

Future ALA Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference dates and locations

2009, Jan. 23–28
2009, July 10–15
2010, Jan. 15–20
2010, June 24–30
Washington, D.C.
2011, Jan. 7–12
San Diego
2011, June 23–29
New Orleans
2012, Jan. 20–25
2012, June 21–27
2013, Jan. 25–30
2013, June 27–July 3
2014, Jan. 24–29
2014, June 26–July 2
Las Vegas
2015, Jan. 23–28
2015, June 25–July 1
San Francisco
2016, Jan. 22–27
2016, June 23–29
2017, Jan. 20–25
2017, June 22–28
2018, Jan. 19–24
Los Angeles
2018, June 21–27
New Orleans
2019, Jan. 25–30
2019, June 20–26
New York City

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Library Director, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio. The Director has responsibility for all library operations including facilities, finance, human and information resources, technology, and is responsible for the effective management of AFIT’s strategic partnership in library services with the Air Force Research Laboratory Technical Library....

@ More jobs...

Digital Library of the Week

Anti-opium inspectors, Peking, 1917-1919. Photo by Sidney Gamble, roll 284, image 1626

Duke University Libraries recently launched the Sidney D. Gamble Photographs collection of about 5,000 images taken primarily in China between 1917 and 1932 by the grandson of Procter and Gamble cofounder James Gamble. From 1908 to 1932, Sidney Gamble (1890–1968) visited China four times, traveling throughout the country to collect data for socioeconomic surveys and to photograph urban and rural life, public events, architecture, religious statuary, and the countryside. A sociologist, renowned China scholar, and avid amateur photographer, Gamble used some of the pictures to illustrate his books. The Sidney D. Gamble Photographs digital collection marks the first comprehensive public presentation of this large body of work that includes photographs of Korea, Japan, Hawaii, San Francisco, and Russia. His 1908 photographs will be digitized and uploaded as part of future additions to the site.

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

“There is one simple lesson to be learned from studying library history. Those administering, and those using, libraries have almost invariably faced a growth of knowledge, reflected in increasing numbers of books, that threatens to engulf each succeeding generation.”

—David McKitterick, “History of the Library,” in Peter Fox, ed., Cambridge University Library: The Great Collections (New York: Cambridge University, 1998).

Ask the ALA Librarian

Indigenous storytelling image

Q. I’d like to plan some library instruction units for the younger classes in my school and use storytelling techniques more. How can I get started?

A. What a timely question! Most of the current issue of Knowledge Quest, the member journal for AASL, is on the power of storytelling, particularly as it helps children shape their experience in relation to the world around them. There are tips on how to do storytelling and numerous bibliographies of resources. Interestingly, storytelling is a component of knowledge management, as it is a means by which implicit knowledge is transferred for employee to employee in an organization. Also, indigenous cultures have relied on storytelling to transmit community knowledge, and we are now using the same for developing oral history, such as ALA Past President Loriene Roy’s initiative, “Capturing our Stories: Developing a National Oral History Program of Retired/Retiring Librarians.” For good measure, the same issue (vol. 36, no. 5, May/June 2008) of Knowledge Quest, noted above, includes resources for world folktales. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.


Aug. 14:

ImaginOn, 2008 Technology Summit,
Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. “Digital Youth Wired for Action.” Featuring Anastasi Goodwin.

Sept. 4–6:
La Red de Instituciones Mexicanas para la Cooperación Bibliotecaria,
Congreso Amigos 2008, Universidad de las Américas Puebla, San Andrés Cholula, Mexico. Contact: Amigos.

Sept. 9–12:
American Association for State and Local History,
Annual Meeting, Riverside Convention Center, Rochester, New York. “Discovering the Power of Transformation.”

Sept. 18–21:
3rd National Conference, Camino Real Hotel, El Paso, Texas. “Bridging the Gaps: Juntos @ the Border.” Contact: Carol Brey-Casiano.

Sept. 29–30:
Fifth International Conference on the Preservation of Digital Objects, iPres 2008,
British Library Conference Centre, London. “Joined Up and Working: Tools and Methods for Digital Preservation.”

Oct. 10–12:
American Printing History Association,
33rd Conference, Grolier Club and Columbia University, New York City. “Saving the History of Printing.” Contact: APHA.

Oct. 24–29:
American Society for Information Science and Technology,
Annual Meeting, Hyatt Regency, Columbus, Ohio. “People Transforming Information: Information Transforming People.”

Nov. 4–8:
Association for Educational Communications and Technology,
International Convention, Buena Vista Palace Hotel, Orlando, Florida. “On the Horizon: Rays of Change.”

Nov. 6–8:
Association of American Colleges and Universities,
Providence, Rhode Island. “Engaging Science, Advancing Learning: General Education, Majors, and the New Global Century.”

@ More...

Contact Us
American Libraries Direct

ALA logo

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

George M. Eberhart,

Daniel Kraus,
Associate Editor:

Greg Landgraf,
Associate Editor:

Leonard Kniffel,
American Libraries:

To advertise in American Libraries Direct, contact:
Brian Searles,

Send feedback:


AL Direct FAQ:

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

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

ISSN 1559-369X.