The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | June 4,

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

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AL Buyers Guide

U.S. & World News

Hartford director responds to outcry over security
The director of the Hartford (Conn.) Public Library is confronting charges leveled since mid-May in the Hartford Courant that the Main Library is increasingly beset by intimidating behavior that is driving away law-abiding patrons and frightening staff members who fear retaliation from management if they call the police. Louise Blalock asserted that HPL “has always called police and reported criminal activity . . . and the police have been very responsive to all of our calls.”...

Las Vegas-Clark County Library District logoAudit request leads to Friends fight
Las Vegas–Clark County Library District has sued the Friends of Southern Nevada Libraries to prevent the Friends from disbanding and disbursing their assets to non-library groups. The action has cost both sides a total of $44,000 in legal fees so far, the Las Vegas Sun reported May 22. Library Director Dan Walters told American Libraries that the library asked the Friends for an audit of its finances due to issues that came up in the library’s statutorily required annual audit....

Hacker puts X-rated tale on library dial-a-story line
A mother and daughter in Contra Costa County, California, received a rude surprise when they called Benicia Public Library’s dial-a-story telephone service May 22. Geri Engberg said that instead of the innocuous tale she and her 6-year-old were expecting, they heard a profanity-laden account of an X-rated relationship between a dog and a pig....

ALA News

Step Up to the Plate @ your libraryCampaign for America’s Libraries highlights baseball and diversity
Annual Conference programs for the Campaign for America’s Libraries kick off June 28 with “Baseball’s Greatest Hit: The Story of ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game.’” Author Andy Strasberg will lead the program, focusing on the song’s history and its significance to the game of baseball. The annual PR Forum, a June 29 program for library public relations and marketing professionals, will focus on “Diversity @ your library: Broadening Your Audience and Engaging Communities.”...

Win prizes playing the Big Game at Annual
Jenny Levine writes: “This year we’re experimenting with a new concept that we hope will also expose librarians to the concept of ‘big games.’ Big games force you to interact with your surroundings and usually with other people. These are games that take place out in the physical world, and the everyday objects we take for granted are the playing pieces. The style will be an information scavenger hunt, and the game is called ‘California Dreaming.’ Anyone attending Annual can sign up and play for free.”...
ALA Marginalia, June 3

Electronic Member Participation survey
The Task Force on Electronic Membership Participation has been charged with evaluating ALA policy as it relates to members’ ability to engage with and interact with the work of the Association through committees and other working groups. A survey of members’ practice and attitudes toward serving on Association committees, task forces, and interest groups at a distance is being undertaken. Through this survey, the task force hopes to gauge member familiarity, interest, and comfort with various means of participating both synchronously and asynchronously....
MemberBlog, June 2

Five questions about the Membership Meetings
In this audio interview (with transcript), Larry Romans, chair of the Membership Meetings Committee, is asked about the Membership Meetings that will take place during Annual Conference in Anaheim. These yearly events are a great chance for the membership to be directly involved with the governance of the Association and for questions to be asked of elected member leaders and Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels....
MemberBlog, June 2

COSWL survey on balancing caregiving and work
COSWL is launching a campaign to raise awareness of caregiving issues and their effects on the lives, work, family, and health of many librarians and library support staff. In conjunction with the program titled “I Will Be Late Again and I Need to Leave Early: Balancing Caregiving and Work” at ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, COSWL is conducting a brief survey about caregiving in order to identify issues that the group will be working on for the next couple of years....
COSWL Cause, June 2

AL Focus

Magnum, A.L.AL Focus celebrates anniversary with top 10 videos
American Libraries Focus, the video home of American Libraries magazine, debuted in June 2007. Since then, the site’s collection of nearly 70 videos has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. AL Focus celebrates the birthday by posting 10 of the most popular videos, including weird reference questions, celebrity-filled conference recaps, confusing wheels, and more. All videos are now iPod-compatible, available for download, and are being cross-posted on the new YouTube version of the website....

Booklist Online logo

Once upon a Time in the NorthFeatured review: Books for Youth
Pullman, Philip.
Once upon a Time in the North. Illustrated by John Lawrence. Apr. 2008. 112p. Knopf/David Fickling, hardcover, $12.99 (978-0-3758-4510-9). Grades 7-10.
As he did in Lyra’s Oxford (2004), Pullman returns to the world of His Dark Materials trilogy in this story of how aeronaut Lee Scoresby meets and befriends bear Iorke Byrnison. Pullman is as fine a writer as there is for young people, and this book is a small gem—literally—it’s 112 pages and the size of a paperback. The story begins as Lee’s cargo balloon drifts into the Arctic, landing in the icy environs of Novy Odense. The town is about to elect a new mayor, Ivan Poliakov, who wants to rid the place of bears, and Lee (along with daemon rabbit Hester) finds himself embroiled in local controversies. When Lee learns one of Poliakov’s allies is a vicious criminal with whom he once had a run-in, he knows he must choose sides. Beautifully crafted and spilling over with action, the novel has the feel of an old western....

Off the Shelf: E-book aggregators
Sue Polanka writes: “Like many librarians, you’re beginning to purchase e-books from a variety of publishers, and you’re confused by all the different licensing agreements, platforms, and pricing models. A solution to this madness? Use an e-book aggregator. Aggregators partner with multiple publishers to supply content (e-books, audio books, other media) and provide a platform for libraries and end users to search, order, access, and download the content on the Web. We’ll focus here on three of the larger academic aggregators—EBL, ebrary, and MyiLibrary.”...
Booklist, May 15

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

Anaheim Update

Pirate's Dinner AdventureEat like a pirate
When packing for Anaheim, don’t forget your wooden leg, eye patch, and (stuffed) parrot—they’re just the accessories you’ll need for Pirate’s Dinner Adventure, an interactive dinner show attraction that features live swashbuckling action, suspense, and romance while you and your mateys gobble down Buccaneer Beef and Princess Anita’s Royal Dessert. It’s a lot like Medieval Times (yes, the Anaheim area has one of those, too), except it swaps Lord of the Rings for Pirates of the Caribbean....
Pirate’s Dinner Adventure; Medieval Times ad

Division News

New LAMA strategic initiatives
A first draft of the LAMA FY2009 strategic initiatives plan has been placed on the LAMA wiki. President Bede Mitchell is asking for member review and comment. The commitments listed in the plan are all tentative. Any and all may be modified or deleted, and additions may be proposed. Please post any comments you may have by June 6....
Leads from LAMA, May 31

YALSA-L calls it a day
Stephanie Kuenn writes: “YALSA-L, YALSA’s oldest electronic discussion list, sunsetted today, after keeping subscribers posted on the latest news and activities from YALSA and ALA since 1996. YALSA will now distribute news on its events and activities through its Twitter account, on this blog (there’s even an RSS feed that’s just for YALSA News), on its home page and, of course, through its six remaining electronic discussion lists....
YALSA blog, June 2

Register for ACRL eLearning events
Registration is closing soon for the following ACRL eLearning events: “All Users Are Local: Bringing the Library Next Door to the Campus WorldWide” (June 2–21), “Program Review for Academic Libraries” (June 3), and “Coming of Age Online: Observing Student Researchers in Their Native Habitat” (June 10)....
ACRL Insider, May 27

Three kidsFour words to avoid
Steven Engelfried writes: “I should have known better. I did know better. I just got caught up in the moment and said the four words you should never, ever say when sharing stories with a group of 4-year-olds: ‘How old are you?’ I didn’t actually use those precise words, but the result was still instant chaos. I was visiting a Head Start class to share stories and library information in what I hoped was a fun way.  First I asked them to raise their hand if they’ve been to a library before.”...
ALSC blog, June 1  


ALTA names Prentice and Green as Trustee Citation winners
ALTA named Barbara Prentice and Donald W. Green as the 2008 Trustee Citation award winners. The ALA Trustee Citation, established in 1941 to recognize public library trustees for distinguished service to library development, symbolizes and honors the best contributions and efforts of the estimated 60,000 American citizens who serve on library boards....

Patti CaravelloCaravello UC’s Librarian of the Year
Patti Schifter Caravello, a librarian in the Charles E. Young Research Library Collections, has been named 2008 Librarian of the Year by the Librarians Association of the University of California, Los Angeles. The award recognizes in particular Caravello’s leadership and the significant role she played in expanding and enhancing UCLA Library’s Information Literacy Program....
Librarians Association of the University of California, Los Angeles, May 29

Grayson BarberFirst Amendment litigator named Library Champion
The New Jersey Library Association recently honored First Amendment litigator Grayson Barber with one of its 2008 Library Champion awards. Leslie Burger, director of the Princeton Public Library, nominated the Princeton Township resident for the award, calling Barber “a passionate supporter of intellectual freedom and First Amendment rights.” Having gone to law school to become a privacy advocate, Barber was prompted by the USA Patriot Act’s signing after September 11 to begin legally advising library staff and board members....
Princeton (N.J.) Packet, June 3

Jaffarian Award to be presented on LIVE! Stage
ALA Public Programs Office will present the 2008 Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award for Exemplary Humanities Programming to the Woodsdale Elementary School of Wheeling, West Virginia, June 29 on the LIVE! @ your library Reading Stage at Annual Conference in Anaheim. Sandra Wiseman, school library media specialist at Woodsdale Elementary, developed and submitted the winning program, “History Hits the Road to Woodsdale.”...

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Seen Online

The New Joy of SexLibrary board: Restrict Joy of Sex books
The Nampa (Idaho) Public Library Board voted 3–2 June 2 to keep two controversial sex-education books off the shelves so they will be inaccessible to minors. The New Joy of Sex and The Joy of Gay Sex have been kept in the library director’s office since March when the board decided to move them there. A Nampa man has asked the library to remove the books on two different occasions in recent years....
Nampa Idaho Press-Tribune, June 3

Paris libraries switch off wi-fi amid health concerns
Four libraries in Paris have turned off their wi-fi internet connections after staff claimed they were causing health problems. The latest to shut down its wireless network is the University of Paris Sainte-Genevieve Library after a staff member threatened to take early retirement on health grounds. All computer users will now have to plug their laptops into the conventional fixed-line network....
The Paris (France) Connexion, June 4

Buckhead BranchDeveloper offers to build replica of library
Developer Ben Carter hasn’t given up on acquiring the architecturally adventurous Buckhead Branch of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library. His latest offer is to build a copy of the internationally acclaimed building several blocks from its current site. Carter has offered about $24 million for the existing library because he considers it in the way of his commerical redevelopment project. He said that’s more than enough money for the land, construction, and furnishings at a new library....
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 23

The library in the new age
Robert Darnton writes: “Information is exploding so furiously around us and information technology is changing at such bewildering speed that we face a fundamental problem: how to orient ourselves in the new landscape? What, for example, will become of research libraries in the face of technological marvels such as Google? How to make sense of it all? I have no answer to that problem, but I can suggest an approach to it: Look at the history of the ways information has been communicated. Simplifying things radically, you could say that there have been four fundamental changes in information technology since humans learned to speak.”...
The New York Review of Books, June 12

Universal Studios logoAll’s not lost in Universal Studios fire
The blaze that consumed part of Universal Studios’ back lot June 1 reduced some of Hollywood’s most familiar settings to cinders and damaged a storage vault holding an as-yet-uncertain number of movies and TV shows. At this point, it appears that the fire consumed no irreplaceable master recordings, just copies. Such practices are a welcome change from Hollywood’s first half-century, when the studios were notoriously feckless about preservation. A 1993 report by the Librarian of Congress found that half of the feature films produced before 1950 had evaporated....
Los Angeles Times, June 3

Canadian ex-rocker submits net neutrality bill
The network neutrality fight, which has absolutely exploded in Canada in recent months, now has even more ammo after a punk rocker-turned-Member of Parliament introduced his own network neutrality bill at the House of Commons. The debate has been sparked in large part by recent revelations about traffic-shaping by Bell Canada, shaping that has allegedly reduced the speed of many P2P sessions by 90 percent. Meanwhile, in the U.S., cable service operators Comcast and Time Warner Cable said June 3 that they would begin testing new approaches that would slow internet access for heavy users and charge more to those who want additional speed....
Ars Technica, May 29; Washington Post, June 4

SPL John Steinbeck LibrarySalinas libraries get extended hours
The Salinas (Calif.) City Council gave unanimous approval May 27 to increasing Salinas Public Library hours from 117 a week now to 186 effective September 1. The new total will exceed the 177 collective weekly hours of service at the library’s three branches before a funding crisis nearly closed them in 2005. The expansion of library hours will lead to the hiring of seven new library staff members in the next three months....
Salinas Californian, May 28

Donnell Library makes way for hotel
After 52 years as one of the most heavily used branches of the New York Public Library system, the Donnell Library Center is all but closed. A small circulating collection will remain open, in the basement, through the end of August. Then the building will be razed to make way for an 11-story hotel. When the $220-million hotel opens sometime in 2011, a new Donnell library will occupy part of the first floor and an underground area, coexisting with hotel guests paying $750 to $2,000 per night for a room....
New York Times, May 30

Mercantile Library moves—and also moves into the 21st century
Founded in 1820 by merchants and their clerks before “the advent of public libraries,” the Mercantile Library, one of three private libraries remaining in New York City, last month shut the doors of its eight-story white marble neoclassical building, which has been its home since 1932. In the meantime, plans for the library’s reinvention are under way, including a new name—the Mercantile Library Center for Fiction—to emphasize its focus. According to library lore, Edgar Allan Poe composed several short works at the Mercantile....
New York Times, June 3

Joseph Mark Lauinger LibraryGeorgetown library testing compressed four-day work week
The Georgetown University library system in Washington, D.C., will institute this summer an official policy allowing full-time employees to work a four-day compressed week. Under the guidelines, the library’s 105 full-time members would work 10-hour days in exchange for a three-day weekend each week. This would leave them with either a Monday or a Friday off depending on departmental needs....
Georgetown University Blue and Gray, May 27

Portland school libraries get shelved
Once considered a vital part of every school, school librarians at Portland (Oreg.) Public Schools have slowly shrunk from full- to half-time in many buildings, been replaced by librarians’ assistants, or are gone altogether. Just a third of the schools in the district now have a librarian, and a third of those are half-time positions, according to Susan Stone, the half-time librarian at Mt. Tabor Middle School and president of the Portland Association of School Librarians....
Portland (Oreg.) Tribune, May 29

State Library of NSWAustralian state library goes digital at last
The State Library of New South Wales’s catalogue system might be mistaken for a carefully preserved antique. Every other library in Australia has an electronic catalogue, but the State Library keeps most of its records in large wooden drawers and filing cabinets, with details of 5 million items handwritten or typed on catalogue cards. In the June 3 budget, the Iemma Government dedicated $10 million towards an electronic catalogue for the library—decades after the technology was introduced....
Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), June 2

Chinese-language DVDs pulled due to copyright concerns
The Cleveland Public Library has temporarily removed from circulation about 800 Chinese-language DVDs—including movies, self-help, and educational discs—for possible violation of copyright laws. The library found that 50 to 100 of the 800 titles were in violation of federal law and international accords restricting their distribution....
Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 31

Did he spray toes at the library?
A Columbus, Ohio, man has been charged with crawling under a table at a library on the University of Cincinnati campus, spraying a substance from a syringe on a woman’s shoes and then photographing them. Dwight Pannell, 43, was booked into the county jail May 28 on charges of voyeurism, assault, and criminal trespass, court records show....
Cincinnati Enquirer, May 29

smiling pigThis kiss was the squeal deal
Dennis LeLoup, media specialist at Sycamore Elementary in Avon, Indiana, knew by April he had a date with a pig. LeLoup promised to kiss a pig if 470 of the school’s 508 students met a reading goal by the end of the year. In the end, 488 students earned a gold medal. Because the program’s theme was “Go Hog Wild—Read,” puckering up for a pig only seemed appropriate, LeLoup said....
Danville (Ind.) Star, May 28

Massachusetts library will not privatize
Three months after the town’s Financial Planning Task Force entrusted the Tewksbury (Mass.) Public Library’s Board of Trustees to investigate the benefits of privatizing the town’s public library, the trustees concluded they cannot support a decision to privatize the library. According to the trustees, one of their main reasons for not supporting privatization is the possible impact it would bring on their own autonomy and authority, along with any possible impact on library employees....
Tewksbury (Mass.) Advocate, May 28

Troubled book world is going for novel ideas
As Book Expo America, the nation’s largest annual book convention, opened May 30 in Los Angeles, innovation—some would say desperation—was the main order of business. More than 2,000 exhibitors from every facet of the publishing world, nearly 1,000 authors, and more than 25,000 people were expected to gather to discuss the state of an industry that’s at a critical crossroads. Indeed, the $37-billion industry’s generally flat sales are likely to continue and perhaps worsen in the near future. Expo attendees were also energized and unnerved by the further development of the e-book....
Los Angeles Times, May 30; New York Times, June 2

Man at weight scaleLibraries team up for weight-loss challenge
Debbie Rampolla has 30 pounds to lose to reach her ideal weight. So when the Whitehall, Pennsylvania, resident heard about the Biggest Loser Contest between Whitehall Library and South Park Township Library, she signed up. The Biggest Loser Contest will divide teams into two categories. All participants will receive weekly surprises as they check in on Wednesday evenings and Thursday mornings....
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, May 29

Queens Library ad

Tech Talk

British Library logoWithout Microsoft, British Library keeps on digitizing
The British Library’s ongoing projects to make thousands of books and other resources available digitally won’t slow down significantly, despite the ending last week of a partnership with Microsoft. Microsoft formed a partnership with the library in November 2005 to fund the scanning of up to 100,000 out-of-copyright 19th-century books, or around 20 million pages. The scanning work will continue for a while longer until the last 40,000 books are finished....
IDG News Service, May 30

FCC considers free internet—with content filtering
Robert X. Cringely writes: “The Federal Communications Commission has floated a plan where the winner of the public auction for the 2155 MHz band would be required to provide free, wireless Net access over part of that spectrum. Naturally, there’s a catch, and it’s a doozy. This free wireless internet would come without obscene or adult content.”...
InfoWorld, June 2

PageoncePageonce personal internet assistant goes beta
Dan Farber writes: “Pageonce lets users aggregate all of their web accounts from a single dashboard. Users submit their user names and passwords for services, including finance, shopping, utilities, social networks, travel, and email, into a Pageonce master account. After the accounts are activated, Pageonce can let users know how many minutes they have left on their cell phone account, and send notifications about flight itinerary changes, credit limits, friend requests, bill payments, and other account activities. The utility of Pageonce is obvious, but it requires a level of trust for users to give up their access information to a single internet service.”...
Webware, June 2; Pageonce

Google offers AJAX Libraries API
Dion Almaer writes: “When you take a look at the effort that it takes to set up work that should be simple, such as caching shared JavaScript libraries, you quickly realize that the Web could be faster than it currently is. The AJAX Libraries API is an attempt to make web applications faster for developers in simple ways: Developers won’t have to worry about getting caching set up correctly, as we will do that for you.”...
Google AJAX Search API, May 27

Catherine BlakeFinding relationships in texts from diverse fields
Catherine Blake, an assistant professor in the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina, has developed a method for retrieving, analyzing, and finding relationships in published research texts from multiple disciplines. “Claim Jumping through Scientific Literature,” as it is called, enables researchers in a given field to collect relevant published information from other fields of study. Blake’s team analyzed 162,000 documents from a variety of scientific fields using a process called “dependency parsing.”...
International Science Grid This Week, May 28

Is Google violating a California privacy law?
Saul Hansell writes: “The California Online Privacy Protection Act of 2003 requires the operator of a commercial website that collects personal information about users to ‘conspicuously post its privacy policy on its website.’ How conspicuously? The site needs to link to the policy ‘located on the home page or first significant page after entering the website.’ Google, which wants to keep its home page very simple, puts a link to its privacy policy on a page called ‘About Google,’ to which it links from its home page.”...
New York Times Bits blog, May 30; State of California; Google

MS Word logoEight handy tools in Microsoft Word
Neil J. Rubenking writes: “Microsoft Word is full of tools that can help you work faster and smarter—but only if you know about them. Here’s a list to remind you of just what Word can do for you.” The list includes tips on shrinking documents by one page, merging to email, comparing two documents, math autocorrect, and more....
PC Magazine, June 2

Web 2.0 sites a thriving marketplace for malware
Malware is big business, and groups are using the latest Web 2.0 tools: social networking profiles, blogs, and other publicly available media and web pages. The digital desperados are moving more and more into wide-scale advertising and brand building on public sites and networks to grow their underground trade. How can people get away with selling programs for breaking into your PC or stealing your identity? Simple: Selling malware is not directly illegal in the United States (or nearly anywhere else). Only using it is illegal....
PC World, June 1

Minerva logoEBSCO acquires Minerva
EBSCO Information Services has acquired Minerva Wissenschaftliche Buchhandlung GmbH of Vienna, Austria, from Springer-Verlag GmbH & Co., a subsidiary of Springer Science+Business Media. Founded in 1909, Minerva provides service to libraries in the areas of serials management and monograph orders, and is the leading subscription agency in Austria and Hungary....
EBSCO, May 30

AL Buyers Guide ad

Actions & Answers

Picturing America logo26,320 schools and libraries receive Picturing America awards
The National Endowment for the Humanities announced June 2 that 26,320 schools and public libraries across the nation will receive Picturing America, a free initiative that helps teach American history and culture by bringing some of the country’s great art directly to classrooms and libraries. Awardees will receive 40 large, high-quality reproductions of great American art and a comprehensive teachers resource book to facilitate the use of the works of art in core subjects....
National Endowment for the Humanities, June 2; Picturing America

LC response to Future of Bibliographic Control report (PDF file)
Deanna B. Marcum writes: “On the Record, the report from the Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control, describes a new technological environment in which libraries have opportunities for making information resources available and useful to new and demanding audiences. The report’s recommendations for achieving that future are clear and compelling. They will profoundly influence the Library of Congress and libraries around the world.”...
Library of Congress, June 1

Pitt Library collects schoolbooks for earthquake aid
The University of Pittsburgh Library System is calling on local schools, individuals, and organizations to donate new and used English-language materials to help rebuild school libraries in Sichuan Province, site of the 8.0 earthquake that shook that region on May 12. A long-time partner of leading Chinese university libraries, the library plans to send the books to Juyuan Middle School in Dujiangyan City, Sichuan. That school, now operating in tents, lost 278 students and six teachers in the quake....
University of Pittsburgh, May 27

CILIP logoReport: U.K. libraries at risk
Job losses, outdated attitudes, lack of government scrutiny and absence from the top level of council decision-making are the main reasons for cuts in quality being faced by public libraries in England, according to the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. The report (PDF) emphasizes the importance of professional experience and judgment in planning and delivering effective service....
CILIP, May 28

City Librarian Fontayne Holmes to retire from LAPL
Fontayne Holmes, City Librarian for the City of Los Angeles, will retire from the Los Angeles Public Library in August 2008. Holmes is responsible for the administration of the city’s library system, which serves four million people through the Central Library, 71 branches, and online resources. A 30-year veteran with the department, Holmes’s accomplishments include successfully building 64 branches on time and under budget....
Los Angeles Public Library, June 2

Library-a-Go-Go logoLibrary-a-Go-Go program first in the nation
The first public-library book-dispensing machine in the United States has arrived. Commuters with a Contra Costa County (Calif.) Public Library card can now check out items from a book lending machine at the Bay Area Rapid Transit Pittsburg/Bay Point station. The machines are built by the Swedish company Distec and cost about $100,000 each....
Book Patrol, May 29; Contra Costa (Calif.) Public Library; Distec

On-demand titles drive jump in book output
The production of traditional books rose 1% in 2007, to 276,649 new titles and editions, but the output of on-demand, short run, and unclassified titles soared from 21,936 in 2006 to 134,773 last year, according to preliminary figures released May 28 by R.R. Bowker. The combination of the two categories results in a 39% increase in output to 411,422. Although it has tracked production of on-demand titles in the past, this is the first year the company has broken out the segment to better show the differences in the traditional categories (such as biography, fiction, juvenile) and the on-demand segment....
Publishers Weekly, May 28

Crank coverYA free-verse novels
Eva writes: “The verse-novel is a modern phenomenon—very modern. The vast majority were published after the year 2000, and most are marketed to teenage audiences. The short, free-verse passages resemble song lyrics, which strike a chord with the iPod generation. Verse novels are a source of debate in many areas of library science. First of all, how to catalog them? Should they be classified as poetry, as fiction, or in a completely new genre altogether?”...
Alternative Teen Services, June 1

Kanye WestKanye West’s late mother honored with library
In 2005, Donda West and the Kanye West Foundation donated $5,000 to provide textbooks for children in Sierra Leone. Those funds were used to completely rehabilitate a dilapidated, roofless school building for 416 children. As a result of Ms. West’s generous donation, Shine On Sierra Leone was developed to sustain these initial efforts and plans to break ground for the “Donda West Library and Literacy Center” this fall....
Kanye UniverseCity, May 27; Shine On Sierra Leone

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ALA Annual Conference logo

ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California, June 26–July 2. Download the official logos.


The next REaD ALERT, Booklist's free e-newsletter, turns the spotlight on biographies and audiobooks. Plus, catch the interview with playwright, commentator, and author David Sedaris. Sign up today, so you won’t miss out.

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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

Bill Mears, from his video interview on the Capturing Our Stories website

Capturing Our Stories, one of ALA President Loriene Roy’s 2007/2008 initiatives, is a national oral history program designed to gather life histories of experienced librarians as they exit their careers. At ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, developers of the collection will match up volunteer interviewers with retired or retiring librarians and provide camcorders and tripods to conduct onsite interviews. Volunteers are invited to attend a workshop on Friday, June 27.

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Access Services Librarian, University of Hawaii at Hilo, Edwin H. Mookini Library, full-time, tenure-track, general funds, available August 1, 2008 (negotiable) pending availability of funds. Minimum Qualifications: At rank of Librarian II: ALA accredited MLS or international equivalent. At rank of Librarian III: ALA accredited MLS or international equivalent; 24 post baccalaureate credits in addition to the MLS; at least 3 years of experience in public services in a college or university library. At rank of Librarian IV....

@ More jobs...

Digital Library of the Week

Great-footed Hawk (common name: Peregrine Falcon). Plate Caption: Great-footed Hawk, Falco Peregrinus. Gmel, Male, I. Female, 2. Green-winged Teal and Gadwal. Plate Number: XVI (16).

The University of Pittsburgh has digitized and mounted online one of the rare, complete sets of John James Audubon’s Birds of America. Only 120 complete sets are known to exist. John James Audubon (1785–1851) set out to paint every known (to him) North American bird in the early 19th century. He eventually stopped at 435 paintings after he exhausted his personal resources. His original paintings of over 1,000 birds, and the hand-colored plates that were subsequently engraved from them, are considered unique. All the birds were painted life-size, and many are shown interacting with other birds and wildlife, often in violent, predatory ways. In August of 2007, the Darlington Digital Library digitized all 435 plates. Each master image comprises over 500 MB and uses an interface that enables users to view portions of the plates at 100%.

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

In addition to an overall increase in those settling for absolutely futureless secretarial or librarian positions, the study showed that more women are now choosing dead-end occupations conventionally dominated by men, such as accounting and data entry.”

—“Report: Women Increasingly Choosing Dead-End Careers Over Dead-End Relationships,” The Onion (satire), May 29.

Woman with laptop

LITA is looking for a few good bloggers. If you’re attending ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, and you’re interested in blogging about LITA-sponsored sessions on the LITA blog, contact Tiffany Smith.

Ask the ALA Librarian

Boy reading a book

Q. I’m finishing up my first year of library school and I’ve gotten interested in bibliotherapy. But could ALA clear something up for me? How do I know when it's “readers’ advisory” and when it’s “bibliotherapy”?

A. Bibliotherapy, as a concept and a practice, has been around for nearly a century now. The term first appeared in an article in The Atlantic Monthly in 1916 by Samuel Crothers, a Unitarian minister, and form and function of it came out of the work of Sadie Peterson Delaney, the chief librarian of the U.S. Veterans Administration Hospital in Tuskegee, Alabama from the 1920s through the 1950s.
Most recently, Brian W. Sturm distinguished the two this way in the December 2003 issue of the Journal of Educational Media and Library Sciences:
“Readers’ advisory, helping library patrons find books to read based on their prior reading preferences, is a common endeavor for most librarians. Bibliotherapy, using books to promote healing, is a special kind of readers’ advisory.”
For definitions and a list of resources on the subject, see the Bibliotherapy page. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.


June 29–July 2 :
International Multi-Conference on Society, Cybernetics, and Informatics, Rosen Centre Hotel, Orlando, Florida.

July 3:
Understanding Metadata and Controlled Vocabularies: the Key to Integrated Networking, London, U.K.

July 9:
Mid-Atlantic Digital Library Conference,
Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

July 12–15:
American Association of Law Libraries Annual Meeting and Conference,
Oregon Convention Center, Portland.

July 14–17:
International Conference on International Computing,
Monte Carlo Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada.

July 20–22:
Church and Synagogue Library Association National Conference,
“Congregational Collections, Carolina Connections,” Greenville Hilton, Greenville, South Carolina.

July 21–27:
International Congress on Archives,
National Archives of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.

July 24–25:
A Race Against Time: Preserving Our Audiovisual Media,
Simmons College, Boston.

July 24–25:
Book Blitz III: More AACR and MARC, some FRBR, and a touch of RDA,
NEFLIN Headquarters, Orange Park, Florida.

Aug. 4–5:
A Reference Renaissance: Current and Future Trends,
Four Points by Sheraton, Denver.

@ More...

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