The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | June 18,

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

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AL Buyers Guide

U.S. & World News

Cedar Rapids Public Library flooded, from the videoVolunteers and library staff move books and items from Special Collections to upper level floors of the University of Iowa Main Library on Friday, June 13. Photo courtesy of University of Iowa.Moving University of Iowa library books from the Preservation Dept. in the basement up to the second floor

Severe damage to the library in New Hartford, IowaSandbagging at Hedberg Public Library in Janesville, Wisconsin

Midwest libraries endure rising floodwaters
Days of sandbagging could not keep the Cedar River out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Overflowing barriers on June 12, it deluged more than 100 blocks of the city’s eastern side, including the Cedar Rapids Public Library (a YouTube video, above left, shows the library at about the 6:20 mark). Some 64 miles to the northwest, some 18 inches of water destroyed the wooden interior of the Elizabeth Rasmussen Martin Memorial Library in New Hartford (bottom left). In Iowa City, the University of Iowa ordered the June 13 closing of the Main Library and a number of other campus buildings in the wake of several area bridges collapsing. Hundreds of volunteers formed a chain (top right) to remove books and dissertations from the campus library, while others transferred artwork from the museum as the arts campus was submerged. River towns throughout the upper Midwest continue sandbagging in anticipation of record overflows predicted to hit by June 20....

Thomson Dialog logoProQuest logoProQuest to acquire Dialog
Ann Arbor, Michigan–based electronic publishing company ProQuest signed an agreement June 12 to purchase the Dialog database service from media company Thomson Reuters. The transaction is expected to close by mid-July, pending completion of a formal consultation period and other customary closing conditions, ProQuest CEO Marty Kahn told American Libraries. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed....

The main library of the Pine Bluff–Jefferson County (Ark.) Library System is located in the Civic Center.Arkansas library evicts court from building
In what might prove to be the end game in a conflict that has persisted for over a decade, the Pine Bluff–Jefferson County (Ark.) Library System served an eviction notice to District Court Judge Waymond Brown June 10 requiring him to remove his court’s operations from the ground floor of the library building. Division 2 of the Jefferson County District Court has occupied the space since 2001 in an arrangement that was intended as a temporary measure....

Cornell Chronicle logoLibel suit over digitized article dismissed
A federal judge has dismissed a $1-million lawsuit filed by a Cornell University alumnus who claimed that the school libeled him in a 1983 Cornell Chronicle article reporting that he had been charged with third-degree burglary when he was a student. Back issues of the Chronicle, a newspaper published by the university’s press office, are being digitized by the campus library....

Ohio library changes meeting-room rules over lawsuit
The Alliance Defense Fund, a coalition of religious-rights attorneys, filed a lawsuit June 4 against the Clermont County (Ohio) Public Library board of trustees for refusing to allow a financial planning seminar in a meeting room because presenters intended to quote scripture. Religious discussions were not allowed in the meeting rooms according to library policy. In response, library trustees voted June 9 to change that policy, limiting the use of meeting rooms to library-run programs....

Judge: Las Vegas Friends must donate only to library
A district court judge issued a preliminary injunction June 9 preventing the Friends of Southern Nevada Libraries from distributing money made from its book sales to any organization but the Las Vegas–Clark County Library District. The library sued the Friends in May, the culmination of a messy dispute over the library’s demand that the Friends be audited and the Friends’ threat to dissolve and disburse its funds to other groups....

ALA News

Coupon for ALA commemmorative surfboard pin from ALA Membership PavilionAnnual Conference exhibitor coupons
Print out these PDF coupons and bring them to Anaheim to get a head start on drawings, gifts, discounts, previews, and hot tips from exhibitors at Annual Conference....
ALA and Library Journal

Read How You Want logoAccessible Annual Conference program books
Australian publishing firm Read How You Want is offering the Anaheim preconference, conference, and exhibit programs in downloadable EasyRead formats that are designed to make reading easier for all kinds of readers. The technology converts standard books into seven different EasyRead formats as well as Braille, DAISY, and e-books. More than 1,000 conference-goers have already downloaded one version or another....

Big Brain Academy Nintendo gameGaming Pavilion will showcase gaming trends
The ALA Gaming Pavilion—in the Exhibit Hall at ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim—will showcase videogames such as Wii Fit, Big Brain Academy, Brain Age 2, Professor Layton, and Crosswords DS. There will also be a selection of board games and tabletop games for all ages including Kapla, You’ve Been Sentenced, and Play Ball. Attendees will also have free access to role-playing games, puzzles, and interactive DVD-based games like Scene It?...

American Libraries panel to spotlight reference databases
American Libraries Direct Editor George Eberhart will moderate “Speaking Technically,” a panel discussion with experts from seven major library database publishers who will talk about their new products and ideas for enhanced services. The session will take place on the Library Product Spotlight stage of the Orange County Theater in the Exhibit Hall, June 29, 3–4 p.m., during ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim....

Library Book Cart competition notice from DemcoYou know the drill
The fourth annual Library Book Cart Drill Team Championship, held 4–5:30 p.m., June 29, in the Special Events Area of the Anaheim Convention Center, will showcase library workers performing inspired dance routines with creatively decorated book carts. Sponsored by Demco, the event features eight competing library teams from Delaware to California....

Kareem Abdul-JabbarVisitors and volunteers still needed
During Virtual Library Day on the Hill, Tuesday, July 1 from 8 a.m. to noon, conference attendees will have the chance to both email and fax their members of Congress on important library issues. It will also feature celebrity guest Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who will be writing his senator and representative about how much he supports libraries. The Washington Office still needs a few extra helping hands in Anaheim the morning of July 1. Volunteers will help participants use computers to write their members of Congress, answer any questions they might have, and hand out T-shirts....
District Dispatch, May 21, June 2

New grant opportunity for social entrepreneurs programming
In celebration of their groundbreaking Social Entrepreneurs Series, the PBS show Frontline/World, in cooperation with the ALA Public Programs Office, will award grants of $500 plus supporting program materials to 40 public and academic libraries. The grant funds will promote the screening and discussion of one the series’ short documentary films on innovative social entrepreneurs around the world. PPO will offer a preview of the series at 4:00 p.m. SLT (6:00 p.m. Central Time), June 20, on the ALA Island main stage in Second Life....

Beyond White Privilege 101
The ALA Office for Diversity will examine the impact of white privilege in the library environment at a Beyond White Privilege 101 session, 1:30–3:30 p.m., June 29, at ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. The session is the continuation of a dialogue held during the Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, when Art Munin, consultant and assistant dean of students at DePaul University, began a provocative conversation with a standing-room-only crowd during the meeting’s White Privilege 101 discussion....

Get acquainted with the new ALA website
Visitors to the 2008 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim will have the opportunity to view the revamped ALA website in its latest incarnation (see the preview). Manager of Web Development Rob Carlson will make two 15-minute presentations—one at 2 p.m. and another at 3 p.m.—on June 30 at booth 1840 in the Exhibit Hall of the Anaheim Convention Center....

17 international librarians attending the Mortenson Center at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana visited ALA Headquarters in Chicago in September 2007How to get to the Chicago headquarters
Planning a visit to ALA in the summer? Here’s how to get to 40/50 E. Huron Street from Midway and O’Hare airports by car or subway, with some parking lot suggestions, from the new ALA website’s “Contact Us” preview area....

Booklist Online logo

African American National BiographyFeatured review: Reference
Gates, Henry Louis, and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham (editors). African American National Biography. Feb. 2008. 5,568p. Oxford, hardcover (978-0-19-516019-2).
African American lives are “collected and resurrected” in this impressive set, a product of the African American National Biography Project sponsored by the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research and Oxford University Press. The first few entries give some indication of its scope. The first entry is for an escaped slave known only as Aaron who became an antislavery lecturer in the North, and about whom almost nothing else is known; the second is for baseball great Hank Aaron; the third details the life of Jesse Aaron, a wood carver and folk artist who began making well-received “outsider” art late in his life. A supplement to the 24-volume American National Biography (Oxford, 1999), African American National Biography (AANB) records the contributions and achievements of more than 4,000 African Americans — slaves, architects, entertainers, dentists, political leaders, artists, poets, and activists. Just paging through the volumes offers some fascinating discoveries along with the essays on well-known figures....

Off the Shelf logoThe future of reference publishing
Sue Polanka writes: “Publishing executives have been engaged in this ongoing discussion, most recently at the Reference Books Bulletin Editorial Board program, ‘The Future of Electronic Reference Publishing: A View from the Top,’ at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. As a preview to the program, I asked four executives—John Barnes, executive vice president, Strategic Marketing and Business Development, Gale/Cengage Learning; Casper Grathwohl, vice president and publisher, Oxford University Press; Rolf Janke, vice president and publisher, Sage Reference; and Michael N. Ross, senior vice president, education general manager, Encyclopaedia Britannica—to answer a few questions about the industry.”...

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

Anaheim Update

Conference badges
If you have registered to attend Annual Conference, be sure to check your mail carefully for your badge registration packet. While some of them come with the ALA logo on the envelope, others are arriving with Experient on the return address and no apparent connection to ALA. If you receive this, do not throw it away—it contains your badge and other conference information. If you didn’t receive a badge or tossed it accidentally, go to the “Will Call/Corrections” counter in the registration area at the Anaheim Convention Center to pick one up.

Twittering at Anaheim
Brian Eisley, an SLIS student at San Jose State University, has created an unofficial Twitter group for people to use during the ALA Annual Conference. The account name is ala2008. Twitterers can send a direct message to that account and it will retweet that message to everyone who follows it. For more information, see Brian’s website....
Twitter at ala2008

Green Hotels Association logoGo green at conference
Are you staying in a green hotel? Read the ALA Annual Conference Green Report (Word doc) to find out. If not, be green where you are staying. Bring your own supplies and don’t use those small, wasteful plastic bottles. Reuse your towels and sheets instead of asking for clean ones daily. Make sure your lights are turned off in the room. Share a room with others. Drink your morning coffee/tea and water from your personal mug/bottle you brought with you. Check out the Green Hotels Association website for more ideas. And attend some meetings of the Task Force on the Environment....
Going Green @ your library, June 13

Tips for healthy conference travel
As you prepare to take off for your next big conference adventure, take a little time to gather up some tools that will help you stay well during your time away from home. This checklist, by ALA Emerging Leaders Ted Chaffin, Sara Jeffress, Jennifer Turner, and Laura Warren-Gross, considers wellness from seven different components: physical, environmental, social, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, and occupational....
Circle of Wellness @ your library

Cover of The Disneyland EncyclopediaFascinated by Disneyland history?
Impress your friends at the Scholarship Bash with tidbits of information about the attractions, restaurants, and stores in the Disneyland park from Chris Strodder’s Disneyland Encyclopedia, published in May by Santa Monica Press. Here’s a factoid: The oldest living things in the park are the tall eucalyptus trees in the back of Disneyland City Hall. About 100 years old, they were saved from the original groves that preceded the park....
Santa Monica Press

OCLC events at Annual
OCLC-sponsored events are open to all ALA attendees, but they would like you to sign up for them first. New this year is a game, “Take the WorldCat Challenge,” that lets you demonstrate your WorldCat searching skills. Also on the agenda is the OCLC Symposium, June 27, “The Mashed-Up Library,” with keynote speaker Michael Schrage and a panel of three librarians who have developed their own mash-ups....

Division News

Linda MehrALCTS program features Oscar’s library
Linda Mehr, director of the Margaret Herrick Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will be the featured speaker at the ALCTS President’s Program, “From Here to Eternity: The Challenge of Managing Oscar’s Very Special Collections,” 10:30 a.m., June 30, at ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim....

Meet YALSA authors and editors
Want to learn more about publishing with YALSA? Come to the YALSA Authors Meet and Greet at 12:30 p.m., June 29, at the ALA Pavilion in the Exhibit Hall. Authors of many YALSA books, the editors of YALSA’s journal and newsletter, and the YALSA Publications Committee will be on hand to discuss publishing opportunities with the division....

ACRL Seattle 2009 logoBresciani, Hernon, Floyd to speak at ACRL National Conference
ACRL has scheduled a distinguished lineup of invited paper presenters for the ACRL 14th National Conference, “Pushing the Edge: Explore, Engage, Extend,” to be held March 12–15, 2009, in Seattle. Marilee J. Bresciani (San Diego State University), Peter Hernon (Simmons College), and Elson S. Floyd (Washington State University) will speak on measures of assessment and trends in administration....

Defining digital preservation
The ALCTS Preservation and Reformatting Section has developed a definition of digital preservation. It was developed to promote an understanding of digital preservation within the library community as well as its allied professions and user communities. The definition marks a current understanding of digital preservation and grew out of a conversation held at the Digital Preservation Discussion Group at the ALA 2007 Midwinter Meeting....

Inlow-Hood named Interface editor
Emily Inlow-Hood has been appointed to serve as editor of Interface, the ASCLA membership journal. Communications manager at WebJunction, an online community for library staff, she will begin her official responsibilities immediately following the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim....

Cover of Great Early Elementary ReadsGreat Early Elementary Reads
ALSC has released a bibliography, Great Early Elementary Reads, featuring recommended book titles for children who are just learning to read and beginning to read on their own. The book is free to download, copy, and distribute. Printed copies of the list will be distributed by ALSC at ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California....

AASL will sponsor two Emerging Leaders
AASL will sponsor two members for the 2009 class of Emerging Leaders. This is the third year in which AASL has offered its members sponsorship in the program. The deadline to apply is July 31....

Beyond Words logoAASL to continue Beyond Words
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded an additional $520,000 to continue AASL’s “Beyond Words: The Dollar General School Library Relief Program.” Beyond Words provides funding to public schools affected by disasters to rebuild and expand library media programs. Funds will be available June 2008 to May 2010....

Cover of 5th edition of Excellence in Library Services to Young AdultsExcellence in Library Services to Young Adults #5
YALSA has published a 5th edition of Excellence in Library Services to Young Adults, edited by Amy Alessio for YALSA, with a foreword by Mary K. Chelton, editor of the book’s first three editions. The book, published with support from the Margaret A. Edwards Trust, compiles the winners of YALSA’s recognition project of the same name, announced last summer....

Cover of Active Guide #1: Life-Work BalanceNew ACRL monographic series
ACRL has launched a new occasional series, ACRL Active Guides, which provide theory-based practical tools dealing with workplace issues. The inaugural title in the series, Active Guide #1: Life-Work Balance, written by Melanie Hawks, is now available. This book will give you a chance to reflect on your priorities, try out some powerful ideas and exercises, and honestly assess the choices you are making about your time and energy....

Round Table News

Amy WestAmy West will be new GODORT chair
The Government Documents Round Table has elected Amy West, data services librarian at the University of Minnesota, as its chair for 2009–2010. As a metadata production manager, she has worked on the National Historical Geographic Information System that makes U.S. Census statistics from 1790 to the present available for free on the Web. She hopes continue the trend towards using technology to assist in GODORT activities during and between conferences....

University of South Carolina LISSA officers Margaret Hawes, Travis Ferrell, and Feili TuNMRT student chapter of the year
The New Members Round Table and the ALA Membership Committee have named the University of South Carolina Library and Information Science Student Association the winner of the 2008 ALA Student Chapter of the Year Award. The runner-up of this year’s award is the ALA Student Chapter at UCLA....

Eating across cultures with EMIERT
Join the Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table on June 29, 8 a.m. to noon, in the Anaheim Convention Center, room 213C, for its membership meeting and program, “Eating Across Cultures: Food Is Culture.” Three noted speakers will discuss the importance of food among immigrant populations as they assimilate into new homes, retain their culinary heritage and foodways, and contribute to shaping new cuisines and culinary traditions....


Cover of The Official YALSA Awards GuidebookAll about the YALSA awards
In The Official YALSA Awards Guidebook, edited by Tina Frolund and copublished with Neal-Schuman, eight nationally recognized authorities have brought together essential information about the YALSA awards in one comprehensive guide. The guidebook will provide librarians with an exhaustive list of award-winning books with which to build their collections, as well as useful tools for promoting those books to readers....

Apply for the Scholastic National Library Week grant
Libraries are invited to apply for the $3,000 Scholastic Library Publishing National Library Week Grant, which will be awarded to a single library for the best public awareness campaign incorporating the 2009 National Library Week theme, “Worlds connect @ your library.” The grant is sponsored by Scholastic Library Publishing and administered by the ALA Public Awareness Committee. Apply by October 17....

LITA scholarship winners
LITA has announced the winners of the three annual scholarships it sponsors jointly with other organizations (, LSSI, and OCLC). The winners will be honored at the LITA Awards Ceremony at ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California....

ASCLA Century Scholarship
Lela Ellison is the 2008 recipient of the ASCLA Century Scholarship. She is a teacher and is involved in library classification duties at the Sri Atmananda Memorial School in Austin, Texas. The Century Scholarship is a $2,500 monetary award given annually to a student or students pursuing a degree in library and information science....

Great Interactive Software for Kids
ALSC has selected its Spring 2008 list of Great Interactive Software for Kids, which recognizes high-quality computer programs and digital media for children 14 years of age and younger. For an annotated list of software, including recommended age ratings, visit the ALSC website....

Joel Moss plays the guitar and sings of his love for the works of historian Barbara TuchmanLibrareo video contest
Remember to vote for your favorite of the five finalists in Gale’s Librareo video contest. The contest celebrates a video creation that best portrays a love for a book or author in a unique, compelling, or memorable way. The criteria are creativity 25%, love for a favorite book or author 50%, and overall appeal 25%. The grand prize winner will be announced at ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California....
Gale Cengage

Summer Reading Extravaganza at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's Library for the Blind and Physically HandicappedPittsburgh library is 2007 Network Library of the Year
The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped has been named the 2007 Network Library of the Year by LC’s National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. The annual award for outstanding accomplishments by a network library was presented at a ceremony held June 11 at the Library of Congress....
Library of Congress, June 13

Dublin City Librarian Deirdre Ellis-King and prize winner Rawi Hage at the Dublin announcement ceremonyLebanese-Canadian writer wins IMPAC Dublin Literary award
Montreal writer Rawi Hage’s debut novel De Niro’s Game has claimed the Dublin IMPAC Literary Award, the world’s richest book prize. The 100,000 euro ($154,700) award was announced at Dublin City Hall June 12. Hage (right) was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and lived in New York before moving to Montreal in 1991. De Niro’s Game is set against the backdrop of the Lebanese Civil War in the late 1970s and early 1980s....
Toronto Star, June 12

Olivia Collins (and feathered friends) review Your Chickens in this StoryTubes videoStoryTubes 2008 winners
Sponsored by six publishers in partnership with five public libraries, the StoryTubes 2008 contest called for students in Grades 1–6 to submit videos of two minutes or less describing their favorite books. One of the winners of $500 in books during the four weeks of voting was 11-year-old Olivia Collins (right) of South Portland, Maine, who explains in her video (1:54) why the book Your Chickens: A Kid’s Guide to Raising and Showing by Gail Damerow (Storey Publishing, 1993) is helpful to people who want to eat locally....
StoryTubes, June 13

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Seen Online

Cover of The Fighting GroundThe Fighting Ground removed from Panama City school library shelves
The Bay District School Board in Panama City, Florida, banned Avi’s Newbery Medal–winning book The Fighting Ground, about a 13-year-old boy witnessing the American Revolution, from library shelves after a split vote June 11. A parent had complained about the content of the book after noting several profanities uttered by some soldiers. “He read two pages,” Brenda Toole, supervisor of instructional media for the district, said of the parent who made the complaint....
Panama City (Fla.) News Herald, June 12

Santa Fe goes WiFi despite opponents
Santa Fe City Council voted June 11 to proceed with a plan for wireless internet service in public libraries and other city buildings over the objections of those who say they are electrically sensitive. Its implementation was held up for two years by a small group of residents who cited an allergy to the technology and gave anecdotal evidence of adverse effects. The group focused on the three Santa Fe libraries, seeking to make them refuges from the technology. City Library Director Patricia Hodapp said she was proud of the council for studying the issue fully....
Santa Fe New Mexican, June 11; Icarus, June 12

Wellesley College Special Collections Librarian Ruth Rogers explains the significance of the 1566 Copernicus volumeWellesley acquires 442-year-old Copernicus
Wellesley (Mass.) College students can now visit the Margaret Clapp Library and leaf very gently through a 442-year-old volume of Nicolaus Copernicus’s scientific masterpiece that opened the heavens to humanity. For an undisclosed price, the college purchased a second edition of his groundbreaking De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres), published in 1566, which made the then-heretical claim the sun, not the Earth, was at the center of the universe. Watch the video (2:22)....
Framingham (Mass.) MetroWest Daily News, June 16; YouTube, June 13

Former director sues over wrongful dismissal
Former Fraser (Mich.) Public Library Director Sherry Schmidli filed a wrongful dismissal lawsuit in Macomb County Circuit Court alleging she was fired for questioning the city’s authority over the library. But letters in Schmidli’s personnel file tell another story. Staff members said Schmidli spoke through a puppet at meetings, talked about her sex life, berated and harassed workers, and asked employees to spy on each other....
Macomb (Mich.) Daily, June 16

Artist rendering of new Little Big Horn College library buildingLittle Big Horn College celebrates new library
The new library and archives building at Little Big Horn College in Crow Agency, Montana, represents the past and the future of the people of the Crow Nation whom it will serve. The new building, dedicated June 11, houses Crow wisdom in its archives, knowledge in its library, and the college’s leadership with new administrative offices. The facility features traditional Crow art designs inside and logs and rock work on the exterior....
Billings (Mont.) Gazette, June 12

Reading room at London LibraryCats help fund London Library
Royalties from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats, the long-running musical inspired by T. S. Eliot’s verse, have enabled the poet’s estate to donate £2.5 million ($4.9 million) to the London Library. For 13 years, Eliot presided over the institution, said to be the world’s largest independent lending library, founded in 1841 by Thomas Carlyle and others. On June 11, Eliot’s 82-year-old widow, Valerie, formally handed over her donation towards an ambitious £25 million renovation of its premises in St. James’s Square....
The Times, (U.K.), June 12

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Tech Talk

Firefox download buttonFirefox 3 climbs the charts
Firefox 3.0 went live June 17 to big fanfare—and an early snag with Mozilla’s servers—while the open source browser continues to claw its way up the market-share charts. Statistics gathered in the first six months of 2008 by Network World show the use of Firefox at 36%, which compares with 28% in the first six months of 2007 (a 29% increase). The new Firefox has many new features, is more secure, performs better than Firefox 2, and has some customizations that will appeal to power users. Download it here....
Network World, June 18; Mozilla, June 11; Lifehacker, June 17

Samsung W510 mobile phoneGreen cell phones from Samsung
Samsung showed its greener side June 16 as it unveiled two new, environmentally-friendly cell phones at the World IT Show in Seoul, Korea. The Samsung W510 is the company’s first mobile to be made of “bioplastic,” which is produced with natural material extracted from corn. In addition, the W510 uses a water-soluble coating, and no heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, and cadmium, were used in the production of the cell phone....
Crave, the Gadget Blog, June 16

Top 26 useful bookmarklets
Ellyssa Kroski writes: “Both Lifehacker and Micro Persuasion have compiled excellent lists recommending useful bookmarklets to make your browsing experience more effective. These handy little applications are a combo of the bookmark and the applet (a small computer program) and they set up one-click buttons which appear on your browser and perform a specific function. I have bookmarklets installed which let me save webpages as bookmarks in my account, and products to my wishlists in Kaboodle by simply clicking a button.”...
iLibrarian, June 16

The Blue Sky by Andrea Petrlik Huseinović is one of the new Clear Text titlesInternational Children’s Digital Library enhancements
The International Children’s Digital Library, the world’s largest collection of children’s literature available freely on the internet, announced June 17 the completion and implementation of its ClearText technology, which significantly enhances the translation and readability of the books available from the online library....
International Children’s Digital Library Foundation, June 17


LOLcat saying "I can has cheezburger?"The demise of the sentence
Linton Weeks writes: “What scares many scholars is the impending death of the English sentence. ‘I see creeping inarticulateness,’ says Librarian of Congress James Billington, who also sees the demise of the basic component of human communication, the sentence. If the sentence croaks, so will critical thought. The sentence itself is a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Something happens in a sentence. Without subjects, there are no heroes or villains. Without verbs, there is no action. Without objects, nothing is moved, changed, destroyed, or created.”...
Washington Post, June 15

100 useful web tools for writers
Laura Milligan writes: “Whether you’re a freelance writer or someone with regular hours, the internet can provide you with unending support for your practical duties (like getting paid) and for your more creative pursuits—like developing a plot, finding inspiration, and playing around with words. Turn to this list for 100 useful web tools that will help you with your career, your sanity, and your creativity whenever you write.”...
College Degree, June 11

ISBNs for digital books
Peter Brantley writes: “Already, publishers are making a single EPUB digital book package, and then leaving the proliferation of more discrete e-book reader formats to intermediaries, distributors, and wholesalers. Ingram will make the XYZ, Amazon will make the Kindle format. The publisher is only responsible for one file—the .epub package. We are rapidly jerking forwards into a near-term future where ISBNs will be assigned for derivative digital book products by intermediaries, not publishers.”...
Publishing Frontier, June 16

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Actions & Answers

Sign in Felix Varela Independent Library, Las Tunas, Cuba. From the Friends of Cuban Libraries websiteThe Cuban independent librarians debate—again
Rory Litwin writes: “It is still not dead. A resolution has just been sent to the ALA Council list for discussion, calling on ALA to recognize the dissident ‘independent librarians’ as members of the library community who deserve our support as colleagues. On the one side, you have Robert Kent and company, who are campaigning for the cause of Cuban dissidents. On the other side, you have members of the Progressive Librarians Guild, myself included, and others who have engaged Kent on the listservs where he has sent his campaign messages.”...
Library Juice, June 14

Cover of OPPTS report of program activities for 1998-99EPA toxic chemical library to remain closed
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will not reopen its specialized library for research on the properties and effects of new chemicals, according to documents posted June 16 by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. As a consequence, one of the world’s most comprehensive technical collections on pesticides and other compounds will be permanently lost. The Office of Prevention, Pollution and Toxic Substances Library in Washington, D.C., had provided research services to EPA scientists who review industry requests for the introduction of new chemicals into the market....
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, June 16

Interview with Vint Cerf
The June 15 Opening Session of the Special Libraries Association Annual Meeting in Seattle featured an interview by noted TV interviewer Charlie Rose speaking with Vinton Cerf, one of the founders of the internet and now internet evangelist at Google. Cerf gave a fascinating look at how the internet developed, where we are now, and some of the major issues we face. Don Hawkins provides an edited transcript....
Infotoday Blog, June 16

IIT's Thinkering Spaces prototypeA new concept: IIT’s Thinkering Spaces
The Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute of Design has come up with a prototype for a relatively cheap, portable, collaborative space that can be put up and taken down in libraries of any size on the fly. It’s built using an out-of-the-catalog Steelcase frame, and uses Johnny Lee Chung’s Nintedo wiimote hacks to create an inexpensive, drag-and-drop environment. The point is to bring spaces into libraries that let people collaborate around the content that already exists in our buildings, add new content to the mix, mash it all up to create something new, and share it with the community. Rinse. Repeat....
The Shifted Librarian, June 17

Libraries: Essential to basic education
Washington State’s Joint Task Force on Basic Education Finance is examining public education funding, an issue not addressed satisfactorily in over 30 years. The essential but difficult question: “What should be included in the state funding of basic education?” The latest advocacy effort of the Spokane Moms (Fund Our Future Washington) and teacher-librarians in the state is to inform the task force about the need for adequate and sustained funding in the funding formula for school libraries and certified teacher-librarians....
AASL Blog, June 13

IMLS grants $20 million to support librarians
On June 17, the Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded 31 institutions grants totaling $20.3 million as part of the Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program. This year’s grantees will provide educational opportunities to library students and staff to strengthen Gulf Coast libraries; support school library media programs; increase the number of librarians, archivists, and library and information science professors; increase diversity in the library workforce; and strengthen that workforce to better meet the needs of users of all types of libraries....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, June 17

Marilyn Gell MasonMarilyn Gell Mason to retire from WebJunction
Marilyn Gell Mason, founder and executive director of the WebJunction online community, has announced she will retire effective September 1 after serving in several prominent leadership roles in public libraries and for OCLC. She will continue to work as an adviser for WebJunction. Mason helped establish WebJunction in 2002 with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation....
OCLC, June 12

The Big Read logoNEA announces Big Read grants
This September, The Big Read is giving even more of the nation’s cities and towns something to talk about. The National Endowment for the Arts announced June 16 that 208 libraries, municipalities, and arts, culture, and science organizations will receive grants totaling $2.8 million to host Big Read celebrations between September 2008 and June 2009. The Big Read gives communities the opportunity to come together to read, discuss, and celebrate one of 23 selections from American and world literature....
National Endowment for the Arts, June 16

50 reasons to read more
Librarians need no excuse to read more, but our patrons, funding agencies, and skeptical acquaintances might derive some benefit from this list. “15. Experience other people’s adventures: From climbing Mount Everest to building a multibillion-dollar corporation, you can experience part of these feats by reading about them.”...
Anand Dhillon, June 4

Still from PSA on the dangers of Bill C-61Talking points against the new Canadian copyright bill
A bill to amend Canadian copyright law that would make it illegal to circumvent digital rights management technologies, Bill C-61, is currently before Parliament. Brendon Wilson offers a concise set of talking points to use when educating your friends and informing your Member of Parliament about the wide-reaching ramifications of the legislation on consumers’ rights. Open Source Cinema has created a PSA video (0:50) about the bill....
Brendon Wilson, June 16; Open Source Cinema

Beatnik Questionnaire imageAre you a beatnik?
To accompany its exhibition On the Road with the Beats, the University of Texas at Austin’s Harry Ransom Center has posted an online beatnik questionnaire (“Where do you live: Squaresville or Beatnik Boro? Sunnyville or Crazyville?”) based on one created in 1960. A young Gerard Malanga (b. 1943), later the cofounder of Interview magazine, sent the questionnaire to his mentor, poet and publisher Daisy Aldan, probably not long after she published the works of several Beat writers in her anthology A New Folder (1960)....
Harry Ransom Center

Giving and receiving feedback
Mary Carmen Chimato writes: “Annual performance appraisal time has come and gone at MPOW and with it comes the ups and downs of giving and receiving feedback. One of the hardest things a manager has to do is provide feedback about a person’s performance. However, there are some tactics you can employ to make the experience go smoothly and help turn an uncomfortable situation into a constructive one.”...
Circ and Serve, June 15

Objects found in booksThings found in books
Richard Davies writes: “Be careful what you use as a bookmark. Thousands of dollars, a Christmas card signed by Frank Baum, a Mickey Mantle rookie baseball card, a marriage certificate from 1879, a baby’s tooth, a diamond ring and a handwritten poem by Irish writer Katharine Tynan Hickson are just some of the stranger objects discovered inside books by booksellers.”...

How to annoy a public librarian
Five suggestions from Roland Saint-Laurent, among them: “If the computer you’re working at has icons, delete them all as soon as you finish your session. I don’t know why patrons do this, but I will occasionally see a computer station with either one, a couple, or all of the icons missing. Since there are a ton of computers in the library, it’s usually not a terrible inconvenience to the public,” but it certainly is annoying to the staff....
Stay Down Here Where You Belong, June 17

Professor Tete displays the Kinshasa Municipal Library's patron registerLibraries of Central Africa
Author Barbara Conaty profiles library developments in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, Malawi, and Zambia. Of the Kinshasa Municipal Library in the Congo, she writes: “In a city where 9 million people make their home, there is just one public library, the municipal library of the Funa district. Headed by Professor Tete (right), who also teaches cataloguing at the University of Kinshasa, this library was established with the assistance of the French government in the late 1990s as an early bid for normalcy after the civil strife of Mobutu’s overthrow.”...
I Love Libraries

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ALA Annual Conference logo

ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California, June 26–July 2. Check out these coupons for the exhibit floor.

Adult Literature Programs at ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim

Find out which literary lights are shining at Annual Conference with this handy guide (PDF file) to Adult Literature Programs and Author Events compiled by the Public Programs Office.

Skippyjon Jones poster

Skippyjon Jones is a Siamese cat who wants to be a Chihuahua dog. Young readers love the antics of this big-eared cat,
and will happily join him in his latest reading adventure, bouncing into a book, in this ALA poster. NEW! From ALA Graphics.

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

Young Adult Literature Symposium logo

Join YALSA for the first Young Adult Literature Symposium, to be held biannually starting in 2008. The inaugural symposium, on the topic “How We Read Now,” will take place November 7–9, in Nashville, Tennessee, at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel. The Young Adult Literature Symposium is funded in part by the William Morris Endowment.

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Editor, Future Survey, World Future Society, Bethesda, Maryland. A challenging career opportunity in identifying, condensing, and packaging leading-edge ideas shaping the U.S. and the world. Published monthly since 1979, Future Survey is a unique abstract journal covering books, reports, and key articles on trends, forecasts, and proposals. Editor must be able to deal fairly with new thinking about technology, environmental issues, and a wide variety of socioeconomic issues....

@ More jobs...

Lawyers for Libraries logo

ALA will present a Lawyers for Libraries Training Institute November 14 in Tampa, Florida. The institute is primarily intended to equip attorneys with tools they need to effectively defend the First Amendment in libraries. Participants will be instructed by practicing attorneys specializing in First Amendment law.

Digital Library of the Week

Ragtime goblin man, composed by Harry Von Tilzer, lyrics by Andrew B. Stirling, published by New York: Harry Von Tilzer Music Pub. Co., 1911. ihs-SHMU_13_03

IN Harmony: Sheet Music from Indiana is a search and discovery system for accessing more than 10,000 pieces of sheet music from the Indiana University Lilly Library, the Indiana State Library, the Indiana State Museum, and the Indiana Historical Society. Funded through a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, IN Harmony features Indiana-related sheet music—sheet music by Indiana composers, arrangers, lyricists, or publishers as well as sheet music about the state. The collection includes works by such well-known composers as George M. Cohan, Cole Porter, Al Jolson, and Jerome Kern. Stacy Kowalczyk, IU’s manager of the project, said that one outcome of the project was to work through the issues of providing consistent terminology and mapping to ensure content is retrieved reliably. You can search the entire collection of sheet music by genre, composer, subject, name, title, year, instrumentation, or holding institution.

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

Some people say information is power. Baloney. Information sharing is power!”

—Computer scientist and “Father of the Internet” Vinton Cerf at the Opening Session of the Special Libraries Association Annual Conference in Seattle, June 15.

Ad for The Whole Library Handbook 4, by George M. Eberhart

Ask the ALA Librarian

Water-damaged book, courtesy of the University at Buffalo Preservation Dept.

Q. What should be my first steps in caring for our books and other materials damaged by storms and flood waters?

A. As noted in Tips for Salvaging Water Damaged Valuables by the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works and Heritage Preservation, water-damaged books “may be extremely fragile” so handle with care. To prevent mold growth, they “should be air dried or kept in a refrigerator or freezer until they can be treated by a professional conservator.” Also advisable: (1) If the object is still wet, rinse with clear water or a fine hose spray. Clean off dry silt and debris from your belongings with soft brushes or dab with damp cloths. Try not to grind debris into objects; overly energetic cleaning will cause scratching. Dry with a clean, soft cloth. Use plastic or rubber gloves for your own protection. (2) Air dry objects indoors if possible. Sunlight and heat may dry certain materials too quickly, causing splits, warping, and buckling. If possible, remove contents from wet objects and furniture prior to drying. Storing damp items in sealed plastic bags will cause mold to develop. If objects are to be transported in plastic bags, keep bags open and air circulating. (3) The best way to inhibit the growth of mold and mildew is to reduce humidity. Increase air flow with fans, open windows, air conditioners, and dehumidifiers. Moderate light exposure (open shades, leave basement lights on) can also reduce mold and mildew. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.


July 17–20:

Harlem Book Fair,
West 135th Street, New York.

Aug. 4–5:
Reference Renaissance Conference: Current and Future Trends,
Four Points by Sheraton, Denver, Colorado. Organized by BCR. Contact: Justine Shaffner.

Sept. 18–20:
ALSC National Institute,
Hilton Salt Lake City Center. “Trailblaze Your Path to Library Success: Professional Development with a Youth Services Focus.”

Sept. 27–
Oct. 4:

Banned Books Week.

Oct. 16–19:
LITA National Forum,
Hilton Netherland Plaza Hotel, Cincinnati. “Technology and Community: Building the Techno Community Library.”

Oct. 17–19:
AASL Fall Forum,
Oak Brook, Illinois. “Assessment, Part II: Constructing and Interpreting Viable Tools for Effective Student Learning in the Library Media Center.”

Nov. 16–18:
Public Education Network,
Annual Conference, Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel, San Francisco. Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the founding of the first local education funds.

@ More...

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