The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | July 23,

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

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AL Buyers Guide

U.S. & World News

Gannett Library Database imageGannett releases searchable public library trends database
Gannett News Service released a searchable database July 17 that compares trends affecting public library systems between 2002 and 2006. The analysis used data from the National Center for Education Statistics as well as statistics collected from state library data coordinators, compared figures for the some 9,200 library systems, and found that library visits increased by roughly 10% during that five-year period and circulation of materials rose by 9%. The database also offers lists of public libraries with the highest circulation per capita, the most internet-capable computers per capita, and the highest operating expenses per capita (all 2006 data)....

Child Online Protection Act gets third strike
After a decade of federal litigation and two decisions that were returned to lower courts from the Supreme Court for further review, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals July 22 unanimously declared unconstitutional for the third time the Child Online Protection Act of 1998 on First and Fifth Amendment grounds. “The government has no more right to censor the internet than it does books and magazines,” Chris Hansen, ACLU senior staff attorney, remarked after the ruling was handed down....

ACLU challenges expanded FISA powers
President George Bush signed into law July 10 the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, a bill expanding legal authority for wiretaps by spy agencies that has been hotly debated since the February expiration of the Protect America Act. Within hours of the bill’s signing, the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit in the U.S. Southern District Court of New York challenging its constitutionality on First and Fourth Amendment grounds....

Teenwire logoBatavia relocates Planned Parenthood link
Batavia (Ill.) Public Library has moved a link to Planned Parenthood’s Teenwire sex education website from the “Young Adult” page on BPL’s website to the general health section of its “Web Reference” page. The board voted 4–2 to move the link July 15 in response to resident Kerry Knott’s request to have it removed from the site entirely....

KLA/KSMA/SELA/ARL conference ad

ALA News

GameStop supplied Bossier Central Library with the XBox 360, PS3, and Nintendo Wii for a day of fun on July 8Summer programs @ your library
Libraries across the country are using the “@ your library” brand to promote summer programming. In order to help patrons escape the summer heat and the increasing cost of movie tickets, Perry (Okla.) Carnegie Library will host “Cool off with summer movies @ your library.” The Bossier (La.) Central Library (right) partnered with its local game shop to sponsor “Gaming @ your library.”...

ALA sends letters to Democrats and Republicans
ALA sent letters to the Democratic National Committee (PDF file) and the Republican National Committee (PDF file) July 18 suggesting important library issues that should be taken into consideration in forming their respective platforms. Access to information is a central theme, emphasizing its importance to the public good. Providing affordable broadband to libraries is also a highlight of the message sent to the committees....
District Dispatch, July 18

ALA seeks Endowment Fund trustee candidates
Nominations are being accepted for the position of Endowment Trustee for the ALA Endowment Fund. The candidate will be selected by the ALA Executive Board at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, January 23–28, in Denver. The new trustee will serve a three-year term that will officially begin at the conclusion of the 2009 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago....

AL Focus

Still from Cory Doctorow privacy videoCory Doctorow on privacy
Protecting reader privacy and confidentiality has long been an integral part of the mission of ALA. Author Cory Doctorow discusses (13:24) the importance of privacy and what’s at stake if its persistent erosion continues unchecked. Part of a panel presented by the Office for Intellectual Freedom at the 2008 Annual Conference in Anaheim, California....

Still from Jamie Lee Curtis videoJamie Lee Curtis and children’s literature
Actor and author Jamie Lee Curtis entertains an audience of children and parents June 30 at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim (4:36). After warming up the crowd with her infant impersonation, Curtis reads from her new book Big Words for Little People and explains how she found the idea for her first book. Then she speculates on why celebrities find themselves compelled to write children’s books....

Janette Turner Hospital at the Booklist ForumBooklist Forum on the post-9/11 novel
Booklist Online Senior Editor Keir Graff (My Fellow Americans) leads a panel of distinguished authors discussing the burgeoning genre of post-9/11 literature at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim (6:50). Carolyn See (Golden Days) speaks about conflating personal and global catastrophe, Janette Turner Hospital (Due Preparations for the Plague) talks about her visit to Ground Zero and how it influenced her book, and Ellen Gilchrist (A Dangerous Age) expresses her certainty that someone will one day write the definitive 9/11 book....

Still from David Lee King videoDavid Lee King at conference
David Lee King of the Topeka and Shawnee County (Kans.) Public Library offers a first-person travelogue (4:18) of his experience at ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. In between searching for swag in the exhibit hall and crashing Open Gaming Night and the OCLC Blogger’s Salon, he takes a peek at Council, gets lost while traveling to a session, and shows us what geeks do at Disneyland (above)....

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Cover of American WifeFeatured review: Adult books
Sittenfeld, Curtis. American Wife. Sept. 2008. 576p. Random House, hardcover (978-1-4000-6475-5).
In her bold third novel, the author of the best-selling Prep (2005) presents a fictional portrait of First Lady Laura Bush, although she changes some important details. In a memoir told entirely in the first person, Alice Blackwell relays her unlikely ascent to the White House from her humble Wisconsin beginnings. She conveys in convincing, thoroughly riveting detail a life far more complicated than it appears on the surface—the moment she discovered that her beloved grandmother was a lesbian; a tragic, life-changing car accident she had as a teenager; the friendship she willingly sacrificed with her best friend when she started dating the good-humored, athletic Charlie Blackwell; and her uncomfortable initiation into the tight-knit, immensely wealthy Blackwell family, run with unflappable authority by its formidable matriarch. No one is more surprised than Alice when her hard-drinking, sports-team-owning husband morphs into a born-again Christian with political ambitions....

David Wright, He Reads, column logoWhat guys read
David Wright writes: “This is the readers’-advisory issue, and I’m a readers’ advisor, so rather than pushing books, I’d like to tell you about some of the guys I’ve had the pleasure to discuss books with. Such as the wide-eyed young fellow who strode up to me and announced his intention to read the classics, ‘all of them,’ and insisted on leaving with The Pilgrim’s Progress, despite my best efforts to steer him to something less excruciating. I never did see him again. Then there was the tattooed, aloof Chuck Palahniuk fan who eyed me skeptically until I mentioned Luke Rinehart’s infamous The Dice Man, a secret handshake that established me as his brother in some creepy secret society with unspeakable hazing rituals.”...

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

Division News

New RBM editor named
ACRL has named Beth Whittaker, head of special collections cataloging at Ohio State University, editor of RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage. Whittaker served on the RBM editorial board from 2006–2008 and brings in-depth knowledge of the world of rare books and manuscripts to the biannual publication. Her three-year appointment as editor begins immediately....

PLA Tech NotesNew PLA Tech Notes
PLA has published new titles in its Tech Notes series, which provides technical information on issues affecting public libraries using contemporary technology. The newest titles, written by technology consultant and writer Richard W. Boss, are on wireless LANs, automated storage and retrieval, open source ILS systems, and Unicode....


Jane SmithLisa ScherffImmroth Memorial Awards for Intellectual Freedom
Lisa Scherff (left), assistant professor of English education at the University of Alabama, and Jane Smith, library media specialist for the Tuscaloosa County (Ala.) School System, have received the 2008 John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award for Intellectual Freedom. Scherff and Smith led an effort that prevented the Tuscaloosa County Board from removing the book Sandpiper from Brookwood High School in

New ALA award for best book in library literature
From 2009 through 2013, the Greenwood Publishing Group Award for the Best Book in Library Literature will consist of $5,000 and a commemorative plaque. It will be given to an author or coauthors whose work exemplifies excellence in library and information studies. The award was established at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California....

NSLMPY Award applications
The application for the 2009 AASL National School Library Media Program of the Year Award is now available online for member download and submission. The deadline is January 2. The NSLMPY award honors school library media programs, at both a school and district level, that ensure students and staff are effective users of ideas and information....

ALSC scholarship winners
ALSC has announced the 2008 recipients of the Frederic G. Melcher and Bound to Stay Bound Books Scholarships. The scholarships are awarded annually to students who plan to enter ALA-accredited programs, obtain a master’s degree in library science, and specialize in library service to children....

Cover of Ikenna goes to Nigeria2008 Children’s Africana Book Awards
Ifeoma Onyefulu is the winner of the Best Africana Book for Young Children Award for Ikenna Goes to Nigeria (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2007). The book focuses on Onyefulu’s son Ikenna and photographs his visit to his mother’s Nigerian homeland. The Children’s Africana Book Awards were established in 1991 by the Outreach Council of the African Studies Association to encourage the publication and use of accurate, balanced children’s materials on Africa in U.S. schools and libraries....
African Studies Association

Judith L. VioletteViolette is distinguished Hoosier
Judith L. Violette, director of the Helmke Library at Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne, has received the Distinguished Hoosier Award. The award, issued by Gov. Mitch Daniels, recognizes significant contributions of individuals to Indiana that “endear them in the hearts and minds of all Hoosiers.” The award was presented by Indiana State Librarian Roberta Brooker at a July 18 retirement celebration held in Violette’s honor....
Fort Wayne (Ind.) Daily News, July 21

Thomas F. LahrLahr named Federal Librarian of the Year
Thomas F. Lahr, deputy associate chief biologist for information at the U.S. Geological Survey, has been named 2007 Federal Librarian of the Year by the Federal Library and Information Center Committee of the Library of Congress. Lahr has led the development of new ways to integrate and deliver information and has initiated USGS public and private partnerships with a wide variety of organizations....
U.S. Geological Survey, July 22

Seen Online

Blue Hills branch, Hartford PLHartford considers library takeover
Mayor Eddie Perez and city council leaders of Hartford, Connecticut, are so ticked off over the decision by the Hartford Public Library’s board of directors to close two branches that they are considering taking over the library system. How the city would engineer such a move is unclear, but City Council President Calixto Torres said July 16 that he wants to look into it. To help cover a gap of almost $870,000 in this year’s budget, the library board announced in June that it would shut the Blue Hills (above) and Mark Twain branches and lay off 40 employees. A lawsuit attempting to prevent the shutdown was withdrawn July 21...
Hartford (Conn.) Courant, July 17, 23

Vermont library showdown illustrates privacy dilemma
Children’s librarian Judith Flint was getting ready June 26 for the monthly book discussion group for 8- and 9-year-olds at the Kimball Public Library in Randolph, Vermont, when police showed up. Five state police detectives wanted to seize the library’s public access computers as they frantically searched for the missing 12-year-old Brooke Bennett, acting on a tip that she sometimes used the terminals. But the new state privacy law wouldn’t go into effect until five days later....
Associated Press, July 19

Luke 11:2, in the Codex SinaiticusWorld’s oldest Bible goes online
More than 1,600 years after it was written in Greek, one of the oldest copies of the Bible will become globally accessible online for the first time on July 24. High-resolution images from the Codex Sinaiticus, which contains the oldest complete New Testament, as well as notes on the work made over centuries, will appear on the Codex Sinaiticus Project website as a first step towards publishing the entire manuscript by next July....
Reuters, July 21

Appeal filed for fired West Virginia archivist
An appeal was filed in the case of Fred Armstrong, who was fired as West Virginia’s director of archives and history. The appeal contends that Armstrong was fired because he refused to violate state laws and he deserves a full hearing before the state Public Employees Grievance Board. The appeal comes a month after a judge dismissed Armstrong’s personnel grievance on the grounds he had failed to show he was fired because he was attempting to uphold state law....
Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail, July 17

12-year-olds seek new library policy
A pair of 12-year-old boys spoke to the Fairhope (Ala.) Public Library board last week, with a 100-signature petition in hand seeking a change of rules to allow youngsters their age to go to the facility unattended by an adult. Board members said they would not change the current policy, which requires all children 12 years of age and younger to be attended by someone at least 17 years old. Library Director Ilse Krick said the library has no security staff to ensure the children are protected....
Mobile (Ala.) Press-Register, July 22

Facebook logoFacebook gets a facelift
Facebook rolled out a major redesign of its social networking site late July 20 featuring a cleaner interface that links feed technology with user forums. Company officials said the updated site will give users more control and ownership over their profiles. The new version, now in limited use, will be rolled out gradually to Facebook’s 80 million users. The new look is all about the Wall, the blank space on a profile page that users can fill in with stories, photos, links, and the ever-popular Status Updates....
New York Times, July 21; TechNewsWorld, July 22

Attendance drops at Hawaiian libraries
Hawaiian public libraries are seeing far fewer patrons than they did just a few years ago, bucking a national trend of about 10% increased traffic in mainland libraries. Island libraries saw some 400,000 fewer visits in 2007 compared with 2001. But that doesn’t mean Hawaii’s libraries aren’t trying....
Honolulu Advertiser, July 21

Cover of Breaking DawnCanadian libraries thrive in the Internet Age
Business is booming at Canada’s major public libraries, which credit everything from the high price of buying books to social networking, vampires, and a new social acceptance for frothy bestsellers. In Edmonton, Alberta, 385 people are on the waiting list for Fearless Fourteen, the newest offering from romance-turned-crime writer Janet Evanovich. In Surrey, B.C., Stephenie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn (right), a vampire novel written for young adults that is still on order, has 220 members on its waiting list....
Vancouver (B.C.) Sun, July 22

Library care packages offer soldiers a morale boost
The Tower Road branch of the Alachua County (Fla.) Library District has sent more than 1,000 care packages since 2004 to U.S. troops in Iraq through the Books for Soldiers website. The site allows deployed soldiers with internet access to request books, magazines, CDs, DVDs, board games, and other items from volunteers who ship the items directly. Susan Weimer, library specialist and Books for Soldiers member, said the Tower Road library comes from a tradition of outreach....
Gainesville (Fla.) Sun, July 16

Sacramentans owe a huge amount in library fines
A new report indicates the Sacramento (Calif.) Public Library has $4.6 million in unpaid late fees and unreturned items, nearly twice the amount it reported to the Sacramento County grand jury in March during an investigation into the management of the library. The report follows May’s scathing report from the grand jury, which criticized library management for credit card abuses, questionable travel expenses, and excessive use of consultants, in addition to what it reported at the time was $2.5 million in unpaid fines....
Sacramento (Calif.) Bee, July 18

Hackers make phone calls on library tab
Hackers got into the computerized phone system at the Duxbury (Mass.) Free Library in March and rang up $15,000 in unauthorized calls. The FBI, among others, is now investigating. The good news: The town may not actually have to pay it....
Quincy (Mass.) Patriot-Ledger, July 17

Cruise ships at sunrise, 2004. From the Donn Young photo exhibitLSU exhibit chronicles photo salvage effort
Photographer Donn Young lost his life’s work in Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 when his studio in the Lakeview section of New Orleans was flooded. Then the Louisiana State University Library’s Special Collections department got involved in the hands-on recovery of the salvageable portion of Young’s holdings. Now an LSU exhibit showcases both Young’s pre-Katrina work as well as the library staff’s herculean efforts to save the remnants of his collection....
Baton Rouge (La.) Advocate, July 20

Driven to distraction
Bryan Appleyard writes: “David Meyer, professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, is convinced that chronic, long-term distraction is as dangerous as cigarette smoking. He says there is evidence that people in chronically distracted jobs are, in early middle age, appearing with the same symptoms of burnout as air traffic controllers. They might have stress-related diseases, even irreversible brain damage. But the damage is not caused by overwork; it’s caused by multiple distracted work.”...
The Times (U.K.), July 20

Dripping water pipes plague Canadian archives
Canada’s national archives building is so prone to leaks that it sprang another one last month just as workers were cleaning up the mess from a flood days earlier. The showcase building near Parliament Hill in Ottawa was given a second soaking June 1 when a cold-water valve in a women’s washroom failed. Leaks have become a way of life at the nondescript structure, which opened in 1967....
Canadian Press, July 19

Why Shakespeare is the world’s worst stolen treasure
Paul Collins writes: “Aside from a face-melting Ark of the Covenant, a Shakespeare First Folio is the lousiest loot in the world to steal. Here’s why: The 230 surviving First Folios are now the most minutely studied published works in history. The folio is unusual in that two centuries of records trace the path of specific copies. In the case of the one stolen from Durham University, there’s plenty for authorities to work with.”...
Slate, July 17

Hana KimKorean librarian halts LC decision on Dokdo
The Library of Congress postponed a meeting planned for July 16 to change the subject heading for Korea’s Dokdo islets from “Tok Island (Korea)” to “Liancourt Rocks,” named after the French whaling ship whose crew were the first Europeans to chart the islets in 1849. Hana Kim (right), Korean studies librarian at the University of Toronto, urged LC in an email to reconsider the move in the light of an ongoing dispute over the islands between South Korea and Japan....
Asia Pulse Data Source, July 16; Seoul Chosun Ilbo, July 17; Tokyo Asahi Shimbun, July 16

The entry area of the new National Library of South Africa. Photo by Michael NeubertSouth African National Library to reopen in August
A state-of-the-art R300-million ($40 million U.S.) new home for the National Library of South Africa will open in August in Pretoria. The building was designed as a joint venture between Architect Jeremie Malan, Impendulo, and Gandhi Maseko Architects. The National Library was established in 1999, following the merger of the former state library in Pretoria and the then South African library in Cape Town....
BuaNews (South Africa), July 21

Tech Talk

PC Wizard logoPC Wizard benchmarks your PC
Adam Pash writes: “Free application PC Wizard is a portable tool that analyzes and benchmarks your PC. At its most basic, PC Wizard gives you an in-depth look at your hardware and system specs. But the app has a surprisingly rich feature set beyond that, including a password recovery tool for apps like Outlook in the System Information tool and a slew of cool benchmarking tools.”...
Lifehacker, July 16

New iPhone apps enhance education
Flash-card programs, e-book reading software, and science and math simulations are among more than a dozen educational software programs developed for Apple’s iPhone that appear in the new App Store, which debuted July 11. Educators and students can use these applications to locate stars and constellations, visualize a hydrogen atom, learn a new language, and read books on their iPhone, among other uses....
eSchool News, July 22

17 things to do with your online photos
Ellyssa Kroski suggests, among other things, creating librarian trading cards or badges, Animoto music videos, a coffee table book, an online portfolio, social networking slideshows, or photo widgets....
iLibrarian, July 16

EveryStockPhoto logo25 free stock photo sites
Bob Nolin writes: “I was quite surprised to find 25 good, solid resources out there. Note the terms of use for each site. Some of these sites offer free images in addition to images for a fee. All of them are worth a look. Keep in mind that Royalty Free does not mean the images are free; it means that you don’t need to pay the photographer a royalty each time you use the image.”...
Digital Image Magazine, June 22

EBSCOhost 2.0 support
EBSCO Publishing is offering FAQs, screenshots, free webinars, help sheets, and user guides for its new interface, EBSCOhost 2.0. New features include a simpler search screen, previews by mouseover, new result lists, and a new search history capability....
EBSCO Publishing

Google Maps walk from ALA HQ to 100 E. Grand in ChicagoGoogle Maps offers walking directions
Google Maps walking directions had been spotted by some users before, and now they’re being rolled out for everyone. Try this directions search in Chicago, for instance, and you’ll see the “Walking” link on top activated (though this isn’t just restricted to U.S. locations, as a test search in Germany showed). Google has the following disclaimer following their “beta” notice: “Use caution when walking in unfamiliar areas.”...
Google Blogoscoped, July 22

WebAnywhere overcomes visual impairments
Blind persons generally use computers with the help of screen-reader software, but those products can cost more than $1,000, so they’re not exactly common on public computers at libraries. WebAnywhere, developed by a computer science graduate student at the University of Washington, is an internet application that can make web surfing accessible on most any computer....
Associated Press, July 16


Still from Rasputin's Daughter trailerBook trailers: Are they worth it?
David Rothman writes: “Do those book trailers on YouTube work? This polished trailer ballyhooing Rasputin’s Daughter, from Viking, has drawn just 169 views even after months online. Through other works, the author had made the New York Times bestseller list. Is it possible that the people who read historical fiction set in Russia are not the best targets for this type of promo?”...
TeleRead, July 21

Online journal access reduces citation breadth (subscription required)
Scholarly access to more and more journal articles online may have the effect of slowing the steady increase in the number of citations of discrete articles, according to a study published July 18 in Science. University of Chicago sociologist James A. Evans found that as more articles appear online, scholars’ citations tend toward more recent and less diverse articles....
Chronicle of Higher Education, July 18

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Actions & Answers

Library book imageSeven ways your library can help during a bad economy
Meg Marco writes: “Reader MG is a fan of this site and a public librarian and has written a list of seven ways that your library can help you during a bad economy. Libraries are an excellent resource and they’re pretty easy to use. Don’t worry if you’re not a big reader, there’s lots more stuff to do at the library besides just checking out books.”...
The Consumerist, July 22

Kay RyanKay Ryan is new poet laureate
Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced July 17 the appointment of Kay Ryan as the library’s 16th poet laureate consultant in poetry for 2008–2009. Ryan will take up her duties in the fall, opening LC’s annual literary series October 16 with a reading of her work. She succeeds Charles Simic. You can hear Ryan talk about her appointment and read some poems on an LC podcast (21:49)....
Library of Congress, July 17

Library access to scholarship
Walt Crawford writes: “Library access to scholarship isn’t just about open access. It’s about budget equity (is money available for reasonably-priced monographs in the humanities?), format equity (which cuts both ways, given the apparent disdain of a few academic librarians for print and the historical record), the long view, and more. Here is a look at a few interesting items, one of them distinctly newsworthy, from the past 10 months.”...
Cites & Insights 8, no. 8 (Aug.)

Trustee tips: Make your board passionate
Ellen Miller writes: “Library trustees are busy folks. Jobs, family, medical appointments, other volunteer gigs. No wonder amnesia is a job hazard: ‘What, we voted last month to be open on Friday nights?’ Apathy lurks close behind. A lack of crises can spawn a ‘same old, same old’ attitude. Spike them with some adrenaline using these motivators.”...
BlogJunction, July 15

What are we scared of?
Linda Braun writes: “The other day I had a conversation with library school students on the topic of fear. Several said they needed to be careful about what they put on their teen library shelves because of the community in which they worked. The concept was, ‘I know my community and that won’t meet their needs.’ YA librarians have to be prepared for community reactions to items in the collection. The best thing to do is continually educate adults about the role of the library in a teen’s life and make sure they know why it’s important to have a wide variety of teen materials available.”...
YALSA Blog, July 19

Difficulties in determining copyright status
Peter Hirtle discusses the impact that the 1996 copyright restoration of foreign works has had on U.S. copyright status investigations, and supplies some new steps that users must follow in order to investigate the copyright status of any work. He argues that copyright restoration has made it almost impossible to determine with certainty whether a book published in the United States after 1922 and before 1964 is in the public domain. Digital libraries wanting to offer books from this period do so at some risk....
D-Lib Magazine 14, no. 7/8 (July/Aug.)

Old photo of the BeatlesExperts attack EU copyright power-grab
Nate Anderson writes: “Now that the EU plan to retroactively add 45 years of copyright protection to old sound recordings looks set to keep the work of the 1950s and 1960s locked up for another half century, resistance is solidifying. On July 21, a group of independent academics from across Western Europe signed a letter to the Times, arguing that the new plan would only pad the pockets of ‘record companies, aging rock stars or, increasingly, artists’ estates. It does nothing for innovation and creativity.’ And that’s one of the more pleasant things being said about the idea.”...
Ars Technica, July 16, 22; The Times (U.K.), July 21

Estimate Your Benefits buttonEstimate Social Security retirement benefits
Social Security Administration Commissioner Michael J. Astrue has unveiled a new online calculator that provides immediate and personalized benefit estimates to help people plan for their retirement. The Retirement Estimator is tied to a person’s actual Social Security earnings record and eliminates the need to manually key in years of earnings information. And it is secure—only benefit estimates are provided online....
Social Security Administration, July 21

Improving Literacy Through School Libraries grants
U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced July 18 awards of $18.3 million to enhance libraries in 59 low-income school districts across the United States. The grants aim to help students improve reading achievement by increasing their access to up-to-date and technologically advanced school library materials. Funds can be used to acquire books and other library holdings or improve technological resources and capabilities....
U.S. Department of Education, July 18

Reforma Third National Conference logoJuntos @ the Border
Reforma’s third National Conference, “Bridging the Gaps: Juntos @ the Border,” will be held in El Paso, Texas, September 18–21. The event will continue to reflect the spirit of inclusiveness of previous Reforma national conferences while offering a chance to share collective knowledge, expertise, and commitment to excellence in serving the need of Latino and Spanish-speaking populations....

Slide from Does Metadata Matter?Does metadata matter?
Andy Powell writes: “This is a 30-minute slidecast (using 130 slides) based on a seminar I gave to Eduserv Foundation staff. It tries to cover a broad sweep of history from library cataloging through the Dublin Core, web search engines, IEEE LOM, the Semantic Web, arXiv, institutional repositories and more.”...
eFoundations, July 18

Fun with LC Subject Headings
Jenna Freedman offers a running commentary on selected changes to the Library of Congress Subject Headings. For example, “(C) 150 Anger in the Bible [sp2008003530]. The warrant is Holy Anger : Jacob, Job, Jesus, by Lytta Basset, if you’re curious, like I was. This little tidbit was interesting to me, too: ‘LC pattern: Aggressiveness in the Bible.’ Also: (A) 150 Happiness in the Bible [sp2008004528].”...
Lower East Side Librarian, July 21

Elmo-shaped cake panThe Reed Memorial Library Cake Pan Collection
The Reed Memorial Library in Ravenna, Ohio, has a collection of oddly shaped cake pans that it loans out to its members. Not only that, it also provides OPAC access to them. Sophie Brookover writes: “Obviously, I had to know more about this collection, so I emailed the library and was granted this interview with Esther Cross, head of children’s services, and the creator/maintainer of the cake pan collections.” They were featured last year in a nearby newspaper....
Pop Goes the Library, July 18; Akron (Ohio) Beacon-Journal, Sept. 26, 2007

Do we all look alike? The patron’s view
Muriel K. Wells writes: “It was my belief that it was not hair color, size, age, or any other discernible physical feature that students remembered about reference librarians. What they remembered were the warm genuine smiles and expressions of true interest as their queries were answered. They remembered the probing, helpful questions which aided in narrowing their searches, as well as how much effort was spent toward a successful search. But I decided to observe further to see if my supposition was correct.”...
Library Student Journal, May 2008

The vivid array of colors in hte Delft (Netherlands) Public Library. Photo by Jenny LevineThe 25 most modern libraries in the world
Christina Laun writes: “The modern library is often home to sleek architecture and the latest technology. These 25 libraries, in no particular order, demonstrate how libraries have become part of the cutting edge of information management, design, and web technology, and all of them can help you get some ideas on how to bring your own library into the future.”...
Best Colleges Online, July 2

Still from Project ALA showing Betsy Bird and Maria Van LieshoutOn the Red Carpet at Project ALA
At ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, Jim Averbeck and Maria Van Lieshout (with a little help from SLJ librarian blogger Betsy Bird) conducted a string of red carpet fashion interviews on the night of the Newbery-Caldecott awards banquet, then took some of that footage and put together this Project Runway parody (9:48)....
YouTube, July 14

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Cover of Leadership for Excellence

How do the most successful school library media specialists play a leading role in student achievement in their schools? In Leadership for Excellence, Jo Ann Carr and AASL share behind-the-scenes details and best practices, including how and why top programs succeed, get funding, and become integral contributors in their school communities. NEW! From ALA Editions.

In this issue
August 2008

Cover of August 2008 issue

Wikipedia and Literacy Skills

Reframing Gaming

Gratitude As a Catalyst

Speaking Technically

Details from Disneyland

Privacy Revolution logo

ALA’s new privacy rights initiative is intended to inspire library patrons to stand with librarians as they fight to usher in privacy standards in the digital age. The initiative responds to the ALA Council resolution calling for a national conversation on privacy, passed at the 2006 Annual Conference in New Orleans. Take the Privacy Revolution Survey! It should take only 5–10 minutes to complete. If you have any questions, please send an email to Deborah Caldwell-Stone.

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Music Special Collections Librarian, University of Colorado at Boulder. As one of the largest music libraries in the Rocky Mountain region, the Howard B. Waltz Music Library is committed to developing its special collections. This position is primarily responsible for overseeing the special and archival collections of the Music Library, including the holdings of the American Music Research Center. Duties include assisting researchers with the collections; providing access to the materials; coordinating digital projects utilizing the collections; and various collection development and donor relations responsibilities....

@ More jobs...

Digital Library of the Week

Library Reading Room, Princeton University, 1909. AC045

Princeton University’s Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library offers a digital collection of more than 500 historical postcards depicting the Princeton campus and the towns surrounding it. Featuring both monochrome and color postcards, the bulk of the Historical Postcard Collection ranges in date from 1900 through the 1960s. Both unmarked and canceled postcards exist in the collection, and several postcard makers are represented.

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

“I suppose it’s possible that Mayor Perez has in mind a kind of Mad Max gladiator spectacle in which ragged, yellow-eyed librarians would battle against docents from the Old State House and tour guides from the Mark Twain House for scraps of public resources. I picture, at the end, Hartford chief librarian Louise Blalock rollerskating around and around the outer edge of the arena with the severed head of Twain House director Jeffrey Nichols tucked under her arm, while we in the stands chant her name in a mindless frenzy.”

—Columnist Colin McEnroe, commenting on Mayor Eddie Perez’s suggestion that the city take over the Hartford Public Library, in “Librarians Vs. Docents in Perezdome,” Hartford (Conn.) Courant, July 20.

Ask the ALA Librarian

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Q. With the economic downturn, our little library seems to have more people seeking employment resources and not able to provide a permanent address when they apply for their library card, which is required for computer privileges. Does ALA have any policies to help guide us?

A. Yes, we do. In 1990, the ALA Council adopted Section 61 of the ALA Policy Manual, Library Services for the Poor. This policy starts off by saying, “The American Library Association promotes equal access to information for all persons, and recognizes the urgent need to respond to the increasing number of poor children, adults, and families in America.” At the recent ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, the ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table’s Hunger, Homelessness, and Poverty Task Force partnered with ALA’s Office for Literacy and Outreach Services on a program reviewing the objectives of the policy and identifying action steps. Some of the ways libraries of all types can help is by expanding programming in job skills areas, such as English as a Second Language programs or GED exam preparation; by partnering with other agencies or being proactive in making information on their resources available in your library; and by making sure that more traditional forms of outreach such as story hours and bookmobiles are reaching into impacted communities. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom has prepared Economic Barriers to Information Access: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights; its discussion might be a springboard for reviewing your library’s policies with regard to serving the poor in your community. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.


Sept. 9–10:
Marketing, Southern Adirondack Library System, Saratoga Springs, New York. Certified Public Library Administrator course sponsored by the Public Library Association.

Sept. 16–17:
Strategic HR, Mid-Continent Public Library Administrative Center, Independence, Missouri. Certified Public Library Administrator course sponsored by the Public Library Association.

Sept. 16–17:
Budget and Finance, Washington State Library, Olympia. Certified Public Library Administrator course sponsored by the Public Library Association.

Oct. 1–3:
Wyoming Library Association, Annual Conference, Casper.

Oct. 1–4:
Kentucky Library Association/ Kentucky School Media Association/ Southeastern Library/ Association of Research Libraries
, National Diversity in Libraries Joint Conference, Louisville. “Spectrum of the Future.”

Oct. 1–4:
Idaho Library Association,
Annual Conference, Shilo Inn, Idaho Falls. “The Magic of Libraries.”

Oct. 8–9:
Jossey-Bass Online Teaching and Learning Conference,
sponsored by Learning Times.

Oct. 15–17:
Georgia Council of Media Organizations, Annual Conference, The Classic Center, Athens.

Oct. 15–17:
Iowa Library Association, Annual Conference, Grand River Center, Dubuque. “Libraries: Anywhere, Any Way, Anytime.”

Oct. 15–17:
Nebraska Library Association/ Nebraska Educational Media Association, Annual Conference, Lincoln. “Nebraska Libraries: Vision for the Information Age.”

Oct. 19–21:
New England Library Association, Annual Conference, Radisson Hotel Manchester, New Hampshire. “Taking Charge of Change.”

Oct. 20–24:
PLA Boot Camp 4: Intensive Library Management Training, Cleveland, Ohio. Application is required by September 22.

Oct. 21–24:
South Carolina Library Association, Annual Conference, Greenville Hyatt. “Going Green.”

Oct. 22–24:
Michigan Library Association,
Annual Conference, Radisson Plaza Hotel, Kalamazoo. “Shaping Our Tomorrow.”

Oct. 22–24:
Mississippi Library Association,
Annual Conference, Natchez Convention Center. “At the Center of Everything.”

Oct. 23–24:
Virginia Library Association,
Annual Conference, Williamsburg. “Libraries: Champions of Democracy.”

Oct. 23–25:
Hawaii Library Association,
Annual Conference, Grand Wailea Hotel and Spa, Maui.

Nov. 2–4:
Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium, ALA TechSource, Oak Brook, Illinois.

@ More...

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