The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | March 5,

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

EPA logoArbitrator rules against EPA over library closures
The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (a national alliance of local, state, and federal resource professionals) announced February 28 that a federal arbitrator has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency engaged in unfair labor practices and acted in bad faith when it abruptly ordered the closing of seven of the agency’s 10 regional libraries over the past two years....

Buckhead branch of Atlanta-Fulton Public LibraryAtlanta branch saved from developer’s shopping mecca
Trustees of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library voted 8–0 February 27 to keep the system’s distinctive Buckhead branch and reject a developer’s offer of $24 million to raze the building to make way for an eight-block commercial redevelopment. The branch, built in 1989 by avant-garde architects Mark Scogin and Merrill Elam, does not fit into the upscale Streets of Buckhead shopping and residential project envisioned by developer Ben Carter, who proposed relocating the library to a mixed-use tower where users would reach it by elevator....

Windsor Public Library cuts halved
The city council of Windsor, Ontario, agreed February 26 to reduce proposed budget cuts to the Windsor Public Library from $790,000 ($812,011 U.S.) to $400,000 ($411,145 U.S.). The decision to back off from the original figure came after the library board refused to make the cuts—10% of WPL’s budget—on the grounds that up to four branches would have to close, and that it would also necessitate major cuts in hours and staff....

Cover of The New Joy of Sex by Alex ComfortIdaho man revives Joy of Sex challenges
Nampa, Idaho, resident Randy Jackson, who twice before has complained about the city library having The New Joy of Sex and The Joy of Gay Sex in its collection, has asked the Nampa Public Library Board once again to remove the books from its collection. The five-member board will discuss the request at its March 10 meeting. Trustees voted 4–1 in 2006 to retain the books but move them to upper shelves where they would be difficult for children to see. Since that time, two new members who may vote differently have joined the board....

Leaf from Gutenberg Bible owned by UIUC rare book and manuscript libraryUIUC rare book library closes due to mold
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Rare Book and Manuscript Library—which occupies a vault within the main library—closed February 25 to address a mold outbreak. No more than 5% of the 300,000-item collection has visible mold, Associate University Librarian for Collections Tom Teper told American Libraries. However, “mold spores permeate the entire vault, having, we believe, been circulated through the HVAC system.”...

Toronto library worker pleads guilty to 1969 Chicago shooting
A former research assistant at the Toronto Public Library’s central reference library, who had fled to Canada following the shooting of a Chicago police officer in 1969, pled guilty to a charge of aggravated battery February 22. In an unusual plea agreement, Joseph Pannell, 58, will serve only 30 days in jail and two years’ probation and will pay $250,000 to the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, which aids children of police officers wounded in the line of duty....

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ALA News

ALA bad link pageThe ALA website: How it got that way and what we’re doing
Karen Muller writes: “I use it daily, searching it, clicking through the links, as I have for over a decade. And each day 45,000 others do, too. We go there because it is a rich site, with the collective work of ALA represented. We sometimes complain that you need to know where to look to find anything, that it grows with neither structure nor direction. And that is what has been happening since its inception almost 13 years ago—but our current usability work is an effort to change our ways.”...
ALA Marginalia, Feb. 28

Julie Andrews promotional video for National Library WeekJulie Andrews for National Library Week
Academy Award–winning actress and honorary chair of National Library Week Julie Andrews discusses the value of libraries in a new video (0:54) available on YouTube. The clip can be posted on libraries’ websites or blogs to promote National Library Week (April 13–19). As part of her role as National Library Week chair, Andrews has also lent her image to radio and television public service announcements....

I Love Libraries site badgeNew “I Love Libraries” package at Annual Conference
The Office for Library Advocacy will make available a discounted package for library advocates at ALA’s 2008 Annual Conference in Anaheim, California. The “I Love Libraries” package will include registration at the ALA Advocacy Institute on June 26, “Exhibits Supreme” limited-access registration at the Conference, and an Advocacy Membership, which includes a monthly e-newsletter, all for $100....

Submit a paper at Anaheim
Time is running out to submit a proposal for the Juried Papers to be presented at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California. If you have useful research, subject expertise, or innovative ideas to share with your colleagues, we invite you to submit a proposal. Papers that are accepted will be presented on June 30 and July 1. The deadline for submissions is March 31....

ALA Washington Office Legislative Scorecard imageWashington Office debuts Legislative Scorecard
ALA members often inquire as to how their members of Congress voted on issues of particular importance to libraries. In response, the ALA Washington Office has created a Legislative Scorecard. Covering votes from 2007, the scorecard lists several key pieces of federal library-related legislation that ALA supported, and places a check mark beside the names of the senators and representatives who sponsored those bills....
District Dispatch, Feb. 27

Speak up for libraries
To help library advocates speak up about the library message, the ALA Washington Office is offering a series of new resources in the coming months, including webinars, podcasts, online classes, and materials to make your federal grassroots lobbying experience as easy and painless as possible. Join them for their first Speaking Up! webinar on Thursday, March 6, at 4 p.m. Eastern time....
District Dispatch, Feb. 29

Greg MortensonGreg Mortenson to speak at Annual Conference
Greg Mortenson, cofounder of the nonprofit Central Asia Institute and coauthor of the bestseller Three Cups of Tea, will be an Auditorium Speaker at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, June 28, 1:30–2:30 p.m., sponsored by Penguin. A mountaineer and humanitarian, Mortenson was profiled this week by CNN....
CNN, Mar. 3

Library support staff competencies survey
Both library support staff and librarians are invited to offer their opinions about which competencies are important for public and academic support staff. The competencies will become the foundation for the Library Support Staff Certification Program. This survey is being widely distributed to ALA members and other potential respondents. The deadline for filling it out is March 24....

Serve on the IFLA Governing Board
The U.S. Associations of IFLA are calling for anyone interested in seeking their endorsement for either President-elect or at-large member of the Governing Board of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions for 2009–2011. If you are interested, contact the executive director of ALA, AALL, ARL, MLA, ALISE, or SLA by June 1....

Donald E. RiggsDonald E. Riggs dies
Donald E. Riggs, former vice president for information services and university librarian at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida, died on February 19. Riggs had retired from Nova December 31 due to poor health. He had served as 1994–1995 president of LAMA, and was editor of ACRL’s College & Research Libraries from 1996 to 2002....

Electronic mailing lists
Are you interested in joining one of ALA’s electronic mailing (or discussion) lists (often referred to by the brand name LISTSERV), but don’t know where to start? There are upwards of 150 such lists, some open to any subscriber and general in scope, others limited to a small group for the purposes of accomplishing a specific task....
ALA Marginalia, Mar. 3

Booklist Online logo

Cover of The Open RoadFeatured review: Adult books
Iyer, Pico. The Open Road: The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. Apr. 2008. 288p. Knopf, hardcover (978-0-307-26760-3).
A mindful world wanderer and renowned travel writer, Iyer has a 30-year connection to the Dalai Lama stemming from a meeting between Iyer’s philosopher father and the Dalai Lama shortly after his dramatic escape from Tibet in the wake of the Chinese invasion. Iyer has often arranged to be in the same place at the same time as the Dalai Lama, and he now reports on the beloved “spiritual celebrity” in action. His coverage includes vivid descriptions of the highly charged atmosphere of Dharamsala, the capital of Tibet-in-exile; surreal aspects of the Dalai Lama’s ecstatic reception at his numerous appearances; and the profoundly mysterious elements of the Dalai Lama’s “private and almost unimaginable Tibetan world,” the realm of oracles and reincarnation....

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

Anaheim Update

Airline reservation information
United Airlines is offering special meeting discounts for ALA Annual Conference attendees. Simply call the United Special Meeting Desk at (800) 521-4041 and refer to Meeting ID Number 500CR to receive a 2%–10% discount off applicable fares, including First Class....

Anaheim GardenWalk renderingAnaheim attractions
Early conference arrivals can visit downtown Anaheim on Thursday, June 26, 9 a.m.–1:30 p.m., and enjoy a Summer Concert at the weekly Farmer’s Market at the intersection of Center Street Promenade and Lemon. Restaurants (Cheesecake Factory, Bubba Gump Shrimp, etc.) at the new Anaheim GardenWalk (right) at Katella Avenue and South Harbor Blvd. near the Convention Center are now open, and retail stores will await shoppers by the time the conference opens in late June....
Downtown Anaheim; Anaheim GardenWalk

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Division News

Paula PoundstonePaula Poundstone to keynote PLA conference
Standup comedian Paula Poundstone will present the keynote address at the Closing Session of the PLA’s 12th National Conference on March 29 in Minneapolis. Due to scheduling conflicts, Kevin Nealon will not appear at the closing session....

Brown leaf graphic stands for the AASL Fall ForumAASL Fall Forum to focus on assessment
The 2008 AASL Fall Forum theme is “Assessment, Part II: Constructing and Interpreting Viable Tools for Effective Student Learning in the Library Media Center,” and will be held October 17–19 at the Oak Brook Hills Marriott Resort in Oak Brook, Illinois....

School libraries study to close March 15
AASL is calling all school libraries to participate in the “School Libraries Count!” longitudinal survey before it closes on March 15. Findings from the study, begun last year, already are being used in advocacy efforts like the one on behalf of Washington state school library media centers....

LAMA seeks PR Makeover entries
Tired of the same old graphics and design on your library’s publicity materials? Do you have a brochure that could use more pizzazz? Maybe your public relations material could use a makeover. Don’t miss this opportunity to get expert assistance and raise your library’s promotional materials to new heights. Submit your materials to arrive by April 15....

Recruits wanted for Genealogy Boot Camp
The RUSA History Section is recruiting registrants for a full-day preconference on genealogy and ancestry research, “Genealogy Boot Camp,” June 27, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., during ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California. The special guest lecturer is Elizabeth Shown Mills, author of Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians. The event will be held at the Muzeo in Anaheim....

RUSA preconference in Anaheim
RUSA’s Machine-Assisted Reference Section and Reference Services Section are cohosting a preconference on social networking tools and how to successfully merge them with library reference services, “Reinvented Reference 4: Emerging Technologies for Reference Services,” June 27, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m., during the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California....

AASL preconferences tackle trends
AASL looks to the future of reading, learning, and Web 2.0 in its four preconferences planned for the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. The half-day and daylong programs take place Friday, June 27....

Volunteer for a LAMA committee
LAMA President-elect Molly Raphael and the chairs-elect of LAMA sections will soon begin making appointments to committees for terms beginning immediately after the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. Complete a volunteer form indicating which appointments would interest you....

Round Table News

NMRT: “The absolute gem of ALA”
That’s according to Nancy George, electronic resources librarian at Salem State College, who was able to find other librarians new to the profession through the activities of the New Members Round Table. Over the past year, the NMRT Member Relations Committee has been collecting stories from NMRT alumni members that describe how their experiences with the round table helped shape their careers. Contact Jenny Emanuel to share your story....


Donna SeamanBooklist’s Donna Seaman wins Literacy Hero Award
Booklist Associate Editor Donna Seaman was awarded Literacy Chicago’s “Literacy Hero Award” at its annual gala on February 9. Seaman was honored for her commitment to books and reading, exemplified not only by her widely published literary criticism, but also by her twice-monthly radio show, Open Books Radio, in which she interviews top authors about their work. She came to the attention of Literacy Chicago through her recent hour-long broadcast called “Invisible No More,” featuring the stories of Literacy Chicago students, tutors, and staff, and underscoring how reading changes lives....

Larry MooreLarry Moore wins Haycock Award
Larry Moore, executive director of the Ontario Library Association, a post he held for 24 years until his retirement in February, has been named the recipient of the 2008 Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship, which honors an individual for contributing significantly to the public recognition and appreciation of librarianship through professional performance, teaching, and/or writing....

Helene BlowersLITA/Library Hi Tech Award winner
Helene Blowers, director of digital strategy for the Columbus (Ohio) Metropolitan Library, has been named the winner of the 2008 LITA/Library Hi Tech award for Outstanding Communication in Library and Information Technology. Emerald and LITA sponsor the award, which recognizes outstanding achievement in communicating to educate practitioners within the library field in library and information technology....

Woodsdale Elementary School, Wheeling, W.Va.Sara Jeffarian Award winner
The ALA Public Programs Office has named Woodsdale Elementary School in Wheeling, West Virginia, winner of the 2008 Sara Jaffarian School Library Program Award for Exemplary Humanities Programming. The school will receive a plaque recognizing the achievement, a cash award of $4,000, and inclusion of the winning program in a national training session for model humanities programs. School Library Media Specialist Sandra Wiseman developed the winning program, “History Hits the Road to Woodsdale.”...

Johnson County wins Marshall Cavendish Award
The Johnson County (Kans.) Library’s “Literature in the Justice System: The Surprising Antidote” program is the winner of the 2008 Marshall Cavendish Excellence in Library Programming Award. The program grew out of a community task force recommendation for local juvenile justice reform, with strong partnership and collaboration from the Johnson County Department of Corrections and the State of Kansas District Courts....

Penguin Young Readers Group Award
ALSC has awarded four children’s librarians with the 2008 Penguin Young Readers Group Award. The award consists of a $600 grant, sponsored by Penguin Young Readers Group, for winners to attend their first ALA Annual Conference....

Elmont (N.Y.) Public LibraryGale Cengage Learning Financial Development Award winner
The Elmont (N.Y.) Public Library is the winner of the Gale Cengage Learning Financial Development Award. The annual award is presented to a library organization for exhibiting meritorious achievement in carrying out a project to secure new funding resources for a public or academic library....

Leab exhibition awards
There are five winners of the 2008 Katharine Kyes Leab and Daniel J. Leab American Book Prices Current Exhibition Awards. These awards, funded by an endowment established by Katharine Kyes Leab and Daniel J. Leab, editors of American Book Prices Current, and sponsored by the ACRL Rare Books and Manuscripts Section, recognize outstanding exhibition catalogues issued by American or Canadian institutions in conjunction with library exhibitions as well as electronic exhibition catalogues of outstanding merit issued within a digital or web environment....

EBSCO Conference Sponsorship winners
ALA has announced the 10 winners of the EBSCO Conference Sponsorship award. They represent various types of library organizations, including academic, public, school, and state libraries; multiple position classifications; and eight different states from New York to Louisiana. Each will receive $1,000 to enable them to attend the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim....

Cover of Like You'd Understand, AnywayStory Prize winner announced
On February 27, the Story Prize held its fourth annual awards presentation recognizing works of short fiction. The winner of this year’s prize is Jim Shepard for Like You'd Understand, Anyway (2007, Knopf), a collection of 11 short stories set in different times and places, including the Soviet Union in the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and an 1840 expedition to the center of Australia. The $20,000 award Shepard received is the largest first-prize amount of any annual U.S. book award for fiction....
The Story Prize, Feb. 27

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Seen Online

TLA letter slams Memphis mayor’s library move
The Tennessee Library Association Executive Board has sent a terse open letter to Mayor Willie Herenton criticizing him for placing political appointees in charge of the Memphis (Tenn.) Public Library and Information Center. It condemned the mayor’s dismissal of longtime library director Judith Drescher as “a slap in the face” to professional librarians, questioned why a national search wasn’t conducted for a replacement, and asked why the library is operating without a duly appointed library board of trustees....
Memphis (Tenn.) Commercial Appeal, Mar. 1

Phoenix faces $4.5 million in library cuts
Phoenix libraries are facing a $4.5 million reduction under the city’s overall $67.2 million budget cuts. An additional $3.3 million decrease is possible, which would close all branches on Mondays and further reduce funding to circulating materials. The majority of the cuts will be felt in the 22% proposed cut for new books and other circulating materials. In addition, upgrades and repairs to existing facilities will be postponed....
Phoenix Arizona Republic, Mar. 3

New Jersey Knowledge Initiative logoNew Jersey state database folds
The rolling shutdown of the New Jersey Knowledge Initiative’s online resources by vendors was all but complete February 29, one day after the state-funded database failed to meet its deadline to secure a $1-million bailout from legislators. Students, scholars, small businesses, and entrepreneurs’ free access to the costly, proprietary resources will remain shut off until July 1, unless bridge funding is found through other means, Kathleen Peiffer, associate state librarian for library development, said....
Philadelphia Business Journal, Feb. 29

Sex offenders banned from Albuquerque libraries
Albuquerque (N.Mex.) Mayor Martin Chavez has banned sex offenders from city libraries in an effort to keep predators from using the internet, effective March 3. Under his executive order, librarians will cross-check library cards with sex-offender registries, then pass the information on to police who can take different steps, depending on the type of offender. The ACLU’s Whitney Potter says it is a knee-jerk reaction rather than a legitimate strategy....
KOAT-TV, Albuquerque, N.Mex., Mar. 5

Herman B. Oberman branch of the Marion County Public Library SystemBig lesson from a small library
Marion County (Fla.) commissioners were all set to close the tiny Herman B. Oberman branch in Dunnellon (right) in May in response to declining tax revenues. Even County Librarian Julie Sieg saw it as a painless way to cut costs. But when 200 residents made a passionate plea to save the library from the budget ax at a community meeting March 3, Sieg reversed course, commenting that it reminded her why she became a librarian in the first place: Libraries are important community assets that can affect people’s lives for the good....
Ocala (Fla.) Star-Banner, Mar. 5

Laura Bush announces new grants in New Orleans
Nearly a dozen schools in Louisiana and one in Mississippi will get a share of more than $500,000 in grants from the Laura Bush Foundation to rebuild their libraries. First Lady Laura Bush made the announcement March 3 as she visited the Henry C. Schaumburg School in New Orleans’ Gentilly neighborhood, which was flooded with 8 feet of water by Hurricane Katrina....
Education Week, Mar. 3

Cover of "Still at Risk: What Students Don't Know, Even Now" reportHistory survey stumps U.S. teens
Fewer than half of American teenagers who were asked basic history and literature questions in a phone survey knew when the Civil War was fought, and one in four said Columbus sailed to the New World some time after 1750, not in 1492. Common Core, the group that commissioned the survey, titled Still at Risk, claims its results show that the No Child Left Behind Act has impoverished public-school curricula by holding schools accountable for student scores on annual tests in reading and mathematics, but not in other subjects....
New York Times, Feb. 26

Blogging for sanity
Blogging can help you feel less isolated, more connected to a community, and more satisfied with your friendships, both online and face-to-face, new Australian research has found. The study, from Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, found that after two months of regular blogging, people felt they had better social support and friendship networks than those who did not blog....
ABC News (Australia), Mar. 3

Library audiobooks on the go
Downloading an audiobook from your local library is gaining popularity as a free, convenient way to enjoy the latest bestseller while dodging traffic on the way to work or sweating through a gym workout. Eric Gwinn gets down with downloading and explains the practical points of audiobook loans....
Chicago Tribune, Mar. 4

Publishers phase out audiobook piracy protection
Some of the largest book publishers in the world are stripping away the anticopying software on digital downloads of audiobooks. The trend will allow consumers who download audiobooks to freely transfer these digital files between devices like their computers, iPods, and cellphones—and conceivably share them with others. Dropping copying restrictions could also allow a variety of online retailers to start to sell audiobook downloads....
New York Times, Mar. 3

Portion of Design Envelope 12, "Fun Ranch"Vote for the back-of-the-envelope Bush Library design
The Chronicle invited readers to to send in designs for the George W. Bush Presidential Library on the backs of envelopes. About 120 people sent in sketches that were good, bad, serious, humorous, abstract, or really angry. Now the finalists have been selected and you can vote for your favorite (free registration required)....
Chronicle of Higher Education, Mar. 7

What if they made a policy and no one used it?
Despite some heated public debates, officials of the Cook Memorial Public Library District in Libertyville, Illinois, say no parents have taken advantage of a new policy allowing them to restrict what videos or DVDs their kids can check out. The plan went into effect February 19 after it was approved by the library board. The board’s 5-1 vote followed months of discussions prompted by complaints from a few parents....
Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald, Mar. 1

Homeless men find shelter in a book club
Every Monday at 4 p.m., Stephen King fans gather at a men’s shelter in Cleveland. So do readers of Louis L’Amour, James Baldwin, and Malcolm X. Homeless men at this book club begun last fall are reading two books a month. The books are supplied by the Cleveland Public Library, which has partnered with Care Alliance, a health care provider for the homeless....
Christian Science Monitor, Feb. 28

Panel finds school was justified in firing librarian
A former Pemberton Township, New Jersey, school librarian, whose workplace computer showed frequent visits to sexually themed websites, has lost a bid to save her job. A three-judge panel March 3 rebuffed an appeal by Darlene Donahue, who was a library media specialist at Newcomb Middle School. Donahue, a 13-year employee, sought to reverse a decision by the state’s Board of Education....
Cherry Hill (N.J.) Courier Post, Mar. 4

Libraries hook teens through video games
One teenager jams on a guitar to a Guns N’ Roses song while another practices her bowling form. Both activities occur at an unlikely place: the Waukee (Iowa) Public Library. It’s part of a nationwide trend in which libraries have seen success with Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero competitions. “It’s really cool that they provide the stuff for us to be able to socialize and hang out and just talk,” said 6th-grader Taylor Royer....
Des Moines (Iowa) Register, Feb. 21

Postcard mystery has librarian connection
James Merrill was more than a little intrigued when he read a story in the Connecticut Post about a postcard, postmarked August 14, 1957, from a small Maine town that arrived mysteriously at Stratford (Conn.) Town Hall in January—51 years after it was sent by a woman identified only as “Alice.” Then his daughter, Jan Merrill-Oldham, preservation librarian at Harvard University, recognized the handwriting as belonging to her mother Alice, now 93. “I called my father and teased him, and said, ‘Dad, don’t you even know your own wife’s handwriting?’”...
Bridgeport Connecticut Post, Mar. 2

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Tech Talk

VW LEM conference venue as seen by a flying avatar.Planning a virtual world conference
Tom Peters writes: “For the past two months I have been involved in a fascinating team effort to plan a one-day conference that will be held in a virtual world environment on March 8. The official name of the conference is Virtual Worlds: Libraries, Education, and Museums. Although the conference will be held in Second Life, the speakers will be discussing other virtual worlds as well.”...
ALA TechSource blog. Mar. 3

Profilactic logo35 ways to stream your life
It’s a pretty good bet that if your younger patrons are not making a Twitter or Facebook application, they’re probably involved in lifestreaming. Lifestreaming is a hot area for development, and there are an overwhelming number of services that can aggregate all the little bits of your online life. Lifestreaming apps generally fall into two categories: those that help you keep track of and display your own lifestream, and those that help you keep track of your friend’s lifestreams (or both)....
ReadWriteWeb, Feb. 29

Logo for Zoho, a suite of online servicesThe best free software
157 software tools. No fees. No expiration dates. No problems. Sometimes even no downloads. No kidding. If you bought popular apps instead of trying their gratis counterparts, at the manufacturers’ list prices you’d be out $5,183 and change. Why spend money when you can get what you need for nothing? Sometimes, you do get what you don’t pay for....
PC Magazine, Feb. 8

Rochester-area company digitizes books
Lofti Belkhir left a career as a Xerox Corp. researcher to start Kirtas Technologies in 2001, and turning books into gigabytes is proving to be a booming business for the Victor, New York, firm, which makes both the robotic equipment and software for digitizing books and other documents. Today the company’s clients range from libraries to major corporations like Microsoft. Every week Kirtas scans 10,000 to 15,000 books for Microsoft’s Live Book Search project....
Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle, Mar. 2

Ten PC troubleshooting tips
Joel Durham Jr. offers some tips on fixing common but vexing computer problems, among them: Your computer won’t boot, your PC shuts off at random intervals, your game looks funny, and you’ve spilled a beverage....
ExtremeTech, Feb. 27

Actions & Answers

NEA’s Read Across America Cat-a-Vans hit the road to bring the gift of reading to thousands of local schoolchildren. Photo by Jessica McGowan. Courtesy of NEA.NEA’s Read Across America
The National Educational Association kicked off Read Across America Day March 3 by sending out three Cat-a-Van tours to celebrate the joys of reading. The three tours started their travels in Atlanta, Austin, and Chicago to cover more than 1,200 miles in 11 states. During the cat trek, the tours will visit more than 18 cities to provide more than 12,000 books and thousands in cash grants, thanks to generous donations from NEA’s Books Across America, a program that provides book donations and financial backing to public school libraries in need....
National Educational Association

Students honor Dr. Seuss’s birthday
On school campuses around the country March 3, red-and-white-striped hats were the unofficial uniform and green eggs and ham the unofficial meal. Read Across America Day is celebrated near the March 2 birthday of beloved children’s book author Theodore Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss. Lisa Kruger, librarian at Linwood Elementary School in Visalia, California, read various Dr. Seuss titles to students in the first through third grades at recess....
Visalia (Calif.) Times-Delta, Mar. 4

LibraryThing Local map for ChicagoLibraryThing Local launches
LibraryThing Local is a gateway to thousands of local bookstores, libraries, and book festivals—and to all the author readings, signings, discussions, and other events they host. It is the site’s attempt to accomplish what hasn’t happened yet—the effective linking of the online and offline book worlds. You can show off your favorite bookstores and libraries, keep track of interesting events, find out who else loves the places you do, and write comments about the places you love....
LibraryThing Blog, Mar. 3

First verse of "Hurrah for Lincoln"UIUC digitized book of the week
Each week, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign library features an interesting book, journal, photo, or pamphlet that has been scanned for its large-scale digital initiatives. Last week it was a campaign song from the 1860 Republican Campaign Songster that advocates Abraham Lincoln for president. Previous weeks have included the 1919 Chicago race riots, German emigrants, good recipes, and the Watseka Wonder....
Digitized Book of the Week, Feb. 29

30 benefits of e-books
This week is Read an E-book Week, and to encourage the celebration of this little-known happening, Michael Pastore offers 30 reasons why people should read them; for example, “E-books help paperbook publishers to sell paperbooks. Cory Doctorow has explained that the giving away of e-books, for free, has helped to sell the paperback editions of his stories and novels.” (On the other hand, Doctorow is also skeptical that hardware readers will catch on.)...
Epublishers Weekly, Jan. 28; Locus Magazine 60, no. 3 (Mar.): 31–33

VideoNotes screenCarleton University lets students remix lecture videos
Dian Schaffhauser writes: “Carleton University in Ottawa has deployed an online video portal that lets students view, index, annotate, remix, search, and share class lectures. Although the school has been offering streaming video for three years, the new portal, run on the Gotuit platform, implements more interactive features. The program, named VideoNotes by the university, will initially include the full-length video from each lecture, uploaded shortly after class.”...
Campus Technology, Feb. 26

Patron appearance and behavior policies
Attorneys James W. Fessler and E. Kenneth Friker write: “As the weather outside has turned wet and cold, many public libraries have seen an increase in patrons who are simply seeking shelter from the elements. In light of this increased patronage, a review of patron appearance and behavior policies is in order.”...
North Suburban Library System, Wheeling, Ill., Feb. 27

Charles McCarthy and the staff of the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Library, August 8, 1906. Photograph courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society.Wisconsin library pioneer Charles R. McCarthy
Charles R. McCarthy (1873–1921) was the first librarian of the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau (PDF file), established in 1901 as part of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission. McCarthy was a leader in the Progressive movement and the author of The Wisconsin Idea. The WLRB served as a prototype for such libraries in other states and also was the model for the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress....
Library History Buff

National workplace survey reveals information overload
A national workplace productivity survey commissioned by LexisNexis reports that more than 70% of American white-collar workers feel inundated with information at their workplace, while more than two in five feel that they are headed for an information “breaking point.” The survey of 650 white-collar and knowledge workers found that employees across virtually every industry are affected by information overload, but that the problem is particularly acute in the legal profession....
LexisNexis, Feb. 26

Spock and Kirk, in the "Bem" episode of Star Trek: The Animated SeriesKirk: “I should have been a librarian”
Captain Kirk wishes he had decided to become a librarian (0:27) in the Star Trek: The Animated Series episode “Bem,” which aired September 14, 1974, on NBC-TV. Spock, as always, responds by speaking the truth. (Of course, some patrons might actually be reptilian humanoids.)...
YouTube, Dec. 17

Dungeons & Dragons logoStart a Dungeons and Dragons campaign
Sarah Granville writes: “I began thinking of a Dungeons and Dragons group at the Barberton (Ohio) Public Library in 2005. I had been interested in D&D since high school, but hadn’t ever played. I received a D&D starter kit from YALSA and stared at it proudly as it sat on my desk. And gathered dust. Then one evening I discovered a group of teens in our meeting room with D&D books.” D&D co-creator Gary Gygax passed away March 4....
Alternative Teen Services, Feb. 26; Wired, Mar. 5

Reading Orwell in Havana (PDF file)
John Pateman, of the Lincolnshire (UK) Public Library Service, writes: “The research I carried out in Cuban libraries in October 2005 was designed to test the allegation made by Robert Kent and The Friends of Cuban Libraries that George Orwell and other authors are banned in Cuba. My investigations have revealed that this is not the case and there are no banned authors in Cuba. Finally, I have examined in some detail the so-called ‘independent’ libraries and I have established that they are totally dependent on the U.S. Interests Section in Havana for their funding, support, and direction.”...
Information for Social Change, no. 26 (Winter 2007–08)

EBSCO Go Green logoEBSCO offers free environmental database (PDF file)
EBSCO Publishing has decided to use its expertise to make it easier for others to go green. It is making GreenFILE, a bibliographic database of information about environmental concerns, freely available. GreenFILE allows anyone on the Web to access information on such topics as global warming, energy conservation, natural resources, and pollution....
EBSCO Publishing, Feb. 26

History and the Headlines collection
This spring, students can discover how people’s lives can change the course of history with three free “History and the Headlines” online collections from ABC-CLIO. Each site is designed to provide authoritative information to help students understand important events. Topics include the women of Henry VIII’s court, the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., and the 40th anniversary of the Prague Spring reform movement in Czechoslovakia....
ABC-CLIO, Feb. 26

The new library in Santo Domingo Savio, ColombiaBiblioteca Parque España in Colombia (in Spanish)
Santo Domingo Savio, Colombia, sits atop a mountain at one end of Line K of the Medellín Metrocable where architect Giancarlo Mazzanti has built three artificial rocks symbolizing the city’s goal to enhance urban development and cultural activities. The rock buildings are organized into three sections: a library, community center, and cultural center. The library offers books, recreation rooms, reading rooms, and computer rooms with free internet access. Watch a video (5:36) of the library’s festive grand opening in summer 2007. More pictures are here....
Platiforma Arquitectura, Feb. 19; YouTube, Aug. 17; PBH Colombia, Feb. 9

Top of LIASA Library Week posterSouth Africa Library Week
South Africa is celebrating its Library Week, March 17–22, with the theme “From local to global @ your library.” The theme was inspired by the story of Neal Petersen, the South African yachtsman who was the first black man to sail solo around the world. Growing up on the Cape Flats, he discovered sailing and the art of navigation through books in his local public library and from there truly went from local to global....
Library and Information Association of South Africa

National Library of China to add records to WorldCat
The National Library of China, the largest library in Asia, will add its bibliographic records to the OCLC WorldCat database. Following development and format conversion of the records, the library anticipates that some 1.5 million records will be sent to OCLC in 2008. These records, when added to WorldCat, will display Chinese characters....
OCLC, Feb. 28

Joe Uveges performs the "Librarian Song"Joe’s “Librarian Song”
Singer/songwriter Joe Uveges of Colorado Springs has fun with “The Librarian Song” (4:45) in which he praises the reference interview and user instruction. Joe performed the song, which he wrote for the Colorado Association of Libraries (“a partying lot”) in 2006, at a November 7 concert in Colorado Springs to promote his When Freedom Calls CD. “In a world of wikis and blogs / She keeps a running dialogue.”...
YouTube, Nov. 27

Shaping Outcomes ad

ALA Annual Conference logo

Everyone attending the ALA/ProQuest Scholarship Bash will have a rousing good time as the Bash heads to the Disneyland Resort for a magical night, June 28. Tickets are $40 until May 16. Early bird registration for Annual Conference ends March 7.

Cover of The Library Security and Safety Guide

Libraries need to be open and inviting, yet safe for patrons, staff, and collections. How can you ensure your library is both accessible and secure? Look over the shoulder of disaster expert Miriam B. Kahn as she walks through key safety and security issues step by step in The Library Security and Safety Guide to Prevention, Planning, and Response. Case studies, along with 20 checklists and 10 sample policies and forms, are the basis for organizing and evaluating security plans tailored to your institution. NEW! From ALA Editions.

In this issue
March 2008

Cover of March 2008 issue of AL

All Seasons & All Reasons for Lifelong Learning

Story Quilt: Poems of a Place

ALA Candidates: Statements and Forum


Girls Raise Cash for Kenya

Government Secrecy logo

Host the Sunshine Week webcast at your library, March 19, 1–2:30 p.m. Eastern time. The event will be held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., and webcast to sites around the country. Audience members at all sites viewing the live event will have an opportunity to call in (using any telephone) and email questions to the live panels.

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Humanities Librarian for English Language and Literature, University of Kansas, Lawrence. Works in a team environment to build print and digital collections; and provides specialized reference, instruction, consultation and outreach services to a diverse campus community....

@ More jobs...

Digital Library of the Week

Collection of historic cylinder recordings
“The Oceana Roll,” performed by Billy Murray, [1911], 846: Edison Amberol. Ragtime song. Vocal solo with orchestra accompaniment.
Play it (MP3 file).

Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project, Department of Special Collections, University of California, Santa Barbara. Cylinder recordings, the first commercially produced sound recordings, are a snapshot of musical and popular culture in the decades around the turn of the 20th century. They have long held the fascination of collectors and have presented challenges for playback and preservation by archives and collectors alike. With funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the UCSB Libraries have created a digital collection of nearly 8,000 cylinder recordings held by the Department of Special Collections. In an effort to bring these recordings to a wider audience, they can be freely downloaded or streamed online. On this site you will have the opportunity to find out more about the cylinder format, listen to thousands of musical and spoken selections from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and discover a little-known era of recorded sound.

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

    “WhiteTrash #1: Can you get the wi-fi at your place?
    “WhiteTrash #2: No, I have to come here to use the email. Which sucks ’cuz they block ev’rythin’ good.
    “#1: I know. I wanna get on the email, but I can’t do it here ’cuz I heard they track ’n sh*t so they can read what you write.
    “#2: Oh sh*t. You sure?
    “#1. Dude, they’re a public library, so they’re govment. Gov-ment. They’ve prob’ly read ev’ry email you ever writt’n.”

—Overheard at a library, Library Bitch blog, Feb. 23.

Teen Tech Week header

It’s Teen Tech Week, March 2–8, and it’s time to celebrate! Make sure you have your teens enter the Promotional Song Contest (entries are due by midnight March 8), take the SmartGirl Survey on their techology use, and vote for next year’s Teen Tech Week theme.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History previous exhibit on "Looking at Lincoln"

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in New York is offering a new traveling exhibition, Abraham Lincoln: A Man of His Time, A Man for All Times. The exhibition, which incorporates letters, photographs, and images from Lincoln’s presidency and Civil War soldiers and their families, is available to academic and public libraries and national park historic sites. To download an application (PDF file), visit the GLIAH website. The deadline is March 25.

Ask the ALA Librarian

Photo of kids being read to, circa 1941

Q. My library board would like to know if ALA has a policy in relation to taking pictures of children or adults in the library and then using them for promotional purposes, including posting them to the online photo-sharing website Flickr. We love to share our events, but we’re concerned about copyright.

A. The short answer is that ALA does not have a policy in this area, though our A Communication Handbook for Libraries does suggest using photographs to increase the visual impact of a news story. Using photographs requires adherence to procedures to protect the rights of the photographer as well as the privacy of the subject of the photographs, particularly if you are photographing children. Use permissions for photos are usually obtained by a photo release form. If you plan to use the photos online, whether on your own website or on your Flickr (or any other online photo-sharing website) account, include that information in the release form. Check with your library’s public relations or communications specialist—or even legal counsel—to see if a parental release form already exists. If there is such a form, make sure that it covers internet usage. With regard to children, some organizations and schools use a standard release signed by the parent or legal guardian at the time of registration in a particular program. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.


Mar. 26–29:

Association for Childhood Education International, Annual Conference, Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel, Atlanta. “Beyond Standards: Reaching Every Child’s Potential.” Contact: ACEI, (800) 423-3563.

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

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

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

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

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

Apr. 16–18:
Oregon Library Association / Washington Library Association,
Joint Conference, Vancouver, Washington. “Sharing More than a Border.”

Apr. 21–23:
Oklahoma Library Association,
Conference, Tulsa.

Apr. 22–25:
Alabama Library Association,
Conference, Birmingham. “Under One Umbrella: Alabama Libraries Come Together.”

Apr. 22–25:
Florida Library Association,
Conference, Tradewinds Beach Resorts and Conference Center, St. Pete Beach. “Celebrating the Leader in You!”

Apr. 28–30:
Connecticut Library Association,
Conference, Mystic Marriott Hotel and Spa, Groton.

Apr. 29–
May 1:

New Jersey Library Association,
Conference, Ocean Place Conference Center, Long Branch. “Valuing Libraries, Librarians, and Library Staff.”

Apr. 29–
May 2:

Mountain Plains Library Association / Utah Library Association,
Joint Conference, Salt Lake City. “Where Paths Meet: Connecting Libraries and Our Communities.”

May 6–9:
Massachusetts Library Association,
Conference, SeaCrest Resort and Conference Center, Falmouth. “Growing Communities.”

May 9:
Delaware Library Association,
Conference, Dover. “Planting the Seeds to Learn and Grow.”

May 13–14:
Vermont Library Association,
Conference, Sheraton Burlington.

May 14–16:
Maryland Library Association,
Conference, Clarion Resort, Ocean City. “Renaissance 2.0: Imagine-Create- Transform.”

May 21–22:
New Hampshire Library Association,
Conference, Grappone Conference Center, Concord. “Innovate in ’08: Library Basics and Beyond.”

Aug. 4–5:
Bibliographical Center for Research
and RUSA, “A Reference Renaissance: Current and Future Trends,” Four Points by Sheraton, Denver. Call for participation ends April 4. Contact: Marie L. Radford.

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