The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | March 12,

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

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AL Buyers Guide

U.S. & World News

The book that one student victim was studying in the Mercaz HaRav library. Courtesy of Israeli Government Press OfficeEight students killed at Jerusalem religious school library
A lone gunman armed with an AK-47 assault rifle and pistol entered the library of the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva in Jerusalem March 6 and sprayed bullets around the crowded room, killing eight students and wounding 10. The attacker, identified as an Arab resident of East Jerusalem named Ala’ Abu Dhaim (or Dhein), was shot twice 10 minutes later at the library entrance by student Yitzhak Dadon, immobilizing him until an Israeli Defense Forces soldier arrived and killed him. Survivors described the scene in the library as terrifying, with students jumping out of the windows to escape....

Cover of And Tango Makes ThreeTango returns to Loudoun County schools
The controversial And Tango Makes Three returned to the general circulation shelves in the 16 elementary schools of Loudoun County (Va.) Public Schools March 3. That day, Superintendent Edgar B. Hatrick declared the challenge that led to the book being relocated to areas accessible only by parents and teachers to be invalid because the person who made the challenge was not a parent of a student at Sugarland Elementary School in Sterling, where the challenge was made....

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ALA News

Rettig to testify on EPA libraries
On March 13, ALA President-elect Jim Rettig will testify before the U.S. House of Representatives on the impact of library closings at the Environmental Protection Agency. Speaking to the House Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, Rettig intends to address several of the developments of the past two years, specifically the loss of access to vitally import scientific and environmental government information, and the necessity of the information specialist—the staff librarian—to ensure the most effective access to this information....

Livestrong Survivorship Notebook, from the Lance Armstrong FoundationCancer survivorship notebooks for public libraries
ALA is collaborating with the Lance Armstrong Foundation to provide public libraries with reference materials to better serve those seeking cancer information. Last week, the LAF began shipping Livestrong Survivorship Notebooks to more than 14,200 libraries. The notebooks are designed to help cancer survivors, their families, and caregivers organize, retain, and access important information related to their cancer experiences. Libraries that have not received a notebook by March 31 can request one from Kelli Craddock....

Diahann CarrollDiahann Carroll to be Closing Session speaker
Diahann Carroll, actress, singer, and author of the forthcoming The Legs Are the Last to Go: Aging, Acting, Marrying, Mothering, and Other Things I Learned Along the Way (Amistad), will be the Closing Session speaker at ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California, 11 a.m.–12 noon, July 1....

Accessibility is theme of Diversity and Outreach Fair
All types of libraries are invited to participate in the Diversity and Outreach Fair taking place 3–5 p.m., June 28, during ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. The fair is organized by the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services as a way to celebrate examples of diversity in American libraries and to demonstrate possibilities for other libraries in search of “diversity in action” ideas. To participate, complete the online entry form by April 11....

Library Copyright Alliance advocates fair use in Geneva
International copyright advocate Lori Driscoll and OITP Copyright Specialist Carrie Russell are currently in Geneva, Switzerland, for a meeting of the World Intellectual Property Organization. On behalf of the Library Copyright Alliance, they delivered a statement on fair use to the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights....
District Dispatch, Mar. 12

ALA presidents aplenty at the Library Champions reception: From left, Leslie Burger 2006-07, Barbara Ford 1997-98, Loriene Roy current, Betty Turock 1995-96, Patricia Glass Schuman 1991-92AL’s Midwinter report (PDF file)
American Libraries brings you highlights of the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, featuring Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the Author Forum, the FBI whistleblower, the Youth Media Awards, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Sunrise Service, the RDA Update Forum, free-speech advocate Anthony Lewis, ALA Council actions, and more....
American Libraries 39, no. 3 (Mar.): 54–63

Booklist Online logo

Cover of America at WarFeatured review: Books for youth
Hopkins, Lee Bennett (editor). America at War: Poems Selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins. 96p. Mar. 2008. Simon & Schuster / Margaret K. McElderry, hardcover (978-1-4169-1832-5).
This handsome anthology, expressing Americans’ varied experience during wartime, is a fine selection of poems accessible to children. Each poem appears on one or two pages, accompanied by strong, yet graceful illustrations. Though not all content is tied to a particular conflict and not all the poets are American, the poems work well together to represent the book’s sections: the American Revolution, the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and the wars in Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and Iraq. Each section begins with a short quote from a philosopher, political leader, or military officer and a few brief comments on the conflict. Once the poems begin, though, readers will be transported from the broad view to the particulars by the thoughts, words, and experiences of people affected by war in different ways....

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

Anaheim Update

Show your badge and save
The Anaheim/Orange County Visitor and Convention Bureau is listing promotional offers and discounts that are available to Annual Conference attendees. Show your conference badge and save at participating retail stores, restaurants, recreational facilities, spas, theaters, and tours. For example, you can get 20% off food at the House of Blues Anaheim by showing your badge....
Anaheim/Orange County Visitor and Convention Bureau

Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen signPretend you’re in New Orleans
Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen was one of Downtown Disney’s first tenants in 2001. Brennan entered the family business in the early 1980s and now his company also runs nine New Orleans restaurants, including Commander’s Palace and the Red Fish Grill. This French Quarter–like building offers a quick-service dining facility (Jazz Kitchen Express), a New Orleans–style jazz club (Flambeaux’s), and an outdoor jazz balcony with seating that overlooks the revelry below....
Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen

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Division News

ACRL launches chat series
ACRL has launched ACRL OnPoint, a live chat series. Each informal monthly chat session provides the opportunity to connect with colleagues and experts to discuss an issue of the day in academic and research librarianship. Sessions are unmoderated, 30–45 minutes in length, and take place in a Meebo chat room. All sessions begin at 1 p.m. Central time....

Henry JenkinsFree webcast for ACRL members
ACRL will offer its first-ever Springboard Event, a free 90-minute interactive webcast for ACRL members, 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Central time, April 2. Henry Jenkins, Peter de Florez Professor of Humanities and codirector of the MIT Comparative Media Studies program, is the featured speaker....

ALSC preconference on summer reading
ALSC will host “Summer Reading Survivor: Overcoming the Challenges,” 7–9:30 p.m., June 26, and 8 a.m.–4:45 p.m., June 27, during the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim. The first evening, folklorist and author Judy Sierra will open the preconference and get attendees “Wild about Reading.”...

Sara Kelly JohnsMeet Sara Kelly Johns, AASL President
Q: What does the President of AASL do? A: One thing that I’ve enjoyed is making progress on my presidency’s theme, AASL and You: A Partnership for Power. Each president has to continue ongoing initiatives and organizational work, and something new always emerges. There’s ongoing work with ALA and the AASL Advocacy and Legislative Committees and task forces for the SKILLs Act, the Instructional Classification Initiative and the Spokane Moms’ Fund Our Future Washington initiative, revitalization of School Library Media Month, and the new Standards....
AASL Blog, Mar. 10

ACRL and LAMA release space-planning wiki
Two divisions have jointly released the ACRL/LAMA Guide for Architects, a new resource for planning library spaces in higher education. In response to frequent inquiries for information about planning academic library buildings, ACRL and LAMA have partnered to develop a basic framework for architects, planners, and librarians embarking on the design of academic libraries....


National FOI Day Conference logoLoriene Roy to present James Madison Award
On March 14 during the National Freedom of Information Day Conference, ALA President Loriene Roy will present the James Madison Award, given annually to recognize an individual or group that has championed, protected, and promoted public access to government information and the public’s right to know. The conference, sponsored by the First Amendment Center, will be held in the new conference facility at the Newseum, which will formally open in mid-April and is located at 555 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W., in Washington, D.C....

Michael MoodieMichael Moodie receives Campbell Award
Michael M. Moodie, deputy director of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped from 2004 to 2006, is the recipient of ASCLA’s 2008 Francis Joseph Campbell Award. The award is presented to a library or individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of library service for the blind and physically handicapped....

Connie PaulASCLA Leadership and Professional Achievement Award
Connie Paul (right), executive director of the Central Jersey Regional Library Cooperative in Freehold, New Jersey, and the PLINKIT Collaborative are the 2008 corecipients of ASCLA’s Leadership and Professional Achievement Award. The award is presented for leadership and achievement in consulting, multitype library cooperation, networking, statewide service and programs, and state library development....

ASCLA Cathleen Bourdon Service Award
Barbara H. Will, former library programs consultant in Library Development Services at the California State Library from 1987 to 2006, is the 2008 recipient of the ASCLA Cathleen Bourdon Service Award. Will, who died in July 2007, is receiving the award posthumously....

James ElmborgRUSA Reference Service Press Award
James Elmborg, associate professor and director of the University of Iowa School of Library and Information Science, is the 2008 recipient of the Reference Service Press Award for his article, “Libraries in the Contact Zone: On the Creation of Educational Space,” which appeared in Reference and User Services Quarterly (RUSQ) vol. 46, no. 1....

NEH funds 149 humanities projects
The National Endowment for the Humanities announced March 10 that 149 successful applicants in 35 states and the District of Columbia, many of them libraries, will receive a total of $11.9 million in awards. The funding will support projects that provide high-quality public programming at museums and historic sites, improve humanities education and support educators’ professional development, preserve and provide greater access to important cultural resources, and advance research in the humanities....
National Endowment for the Humanities, Mar. 10

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Seen Online

Stephen A. Schwarzman. New York Public Library photo by Jodi KleinBlackstone Group CEO gives $100 million to NYPL
The New York Public Library’s venerable lion-guarded building on Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street is to be renamed for the Wall Street financier Stephen A. Schwarzman, who has agreed to jump-start a $1-billion expansion of the library system with a guaranteed $100 million of his own. The project, announced March 11, aims to transform the Central Library into a destination for book borrowing as well as research. The Mid-Manhattan branch, on the east side of Fifth Avenue at 40th Street, will be sold and its circulating collection absorbed into the new space....
New York Times, Mar. 11; New York Public Library, Mar. 11

Washington school libraries get funded
Washington State Rep. Skip Priest (R-30th) contacted the grassroots group Spokane Moms’ Fund Our Future initiative the morning of March 12 to inform them that the legislature had voted to add $4 million more to school library programs starting in September....
Fund Our Future Blog, Mar. 12

Arizona school libraries in crisis
Arizona’s consistently low school funding is claiming another victim: the school library. Many Arizona school districts are shedding librarians and cutting their hours. Administrators say they are not ignorant of the damage done by cutting library hours or staffing them with clerks or volunteers. But next year, eight schools in the Tempe Elementary District are likely to lose full-time librarians. Librarians who are serving 500 students all week this year will serve 900 students part-time next year....
Phoenix Arizona Republic, Mar. 11

Kathryn Harris plays Harriet Tubman at the Kankakee (Ill.) Public LibraryLincoln librarian portrays Harriet Tubman
Kathryn Harris, library services director for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, Illinois, likes to perform as antislavery activist Harriet Tubman and other historical characters at community events, schools, and libraries. Although Harris has had no formal theatrical training, her thorough research and attention to detail have allowed her to bring to life such women as Tubman, Mary Todd Lincoln confidante Elizabeth Keckley, and early African Methodist Episcopal preacher Jarena Lee....
Springfield (Ill.) Journal-Register, Mar. 7

TR Digital Presidential Library planned in North Dakota
Dickinson State University’s plans for a virtual library devoted to Theodore Roosevelt are one step closer to reality. DSU and the Library of Congress have agreed on a plan to digitize the papers of the rough-riding president, Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.Dak.) said March 11. The university will pay the Library of Congress up to $500,000 to put the papers in electronic form....
Dickinson (N.Dak.) News, Mar. 12

Shelby Monroe, in Iraq with the 101st Airborne in Iraq, crossing the Tigris River. From her Heads Down, Spirits Up! blogNew York librarian becomes embedded journalist in Iraq
Twice in the past two years, librarian Shelby Monroe persuaded the 101st Airborne Division to let her be an embedded war correspondent and blogger. In those articles and accompanying photographs, she tries to capture the ordinary lives of American soldiers and Iraqis. To go to Iraq, she quit three part-time jobs—in the Chappaqua (N.Y.) Library, the Field Library in Peekskill (where she worked as adult services reference librarian), and in the Village Bookstore in Pleasantville....
New York Times, Mar. 9; Heads Down, Spirits Up! blog

Privacy threat from NSA data sweeps
The central role the National Security Agency has come to occupy in domestic intelligence gathering has never been publicly disclosed. But an inquiry reveals that its efforts have evolved to reach more broadly into data about people’s communications, travel, and finances in the U.S. than the Pentagon and FBI domestic surveillance programs attempted since the 2001 terrorist attacks. The spy agency now monitors a huge volume of records of domestic emails and internet searches as well as bank transfers, credit-card transactions, and travel and telephone records....
Wall Street Journal, Mar. 10

Cover of Love and ConsequencesThe long lineage of literary fakers
When the news emerged this week that Margaret Seltzer had fabricated her gang memoir, Love and Consequences, under the pseudonym Margaret B. Jones, many in the publishing industry and beyond thought: Here we go again. But the history of literary fakers stretches far, far back, at least to the 19th century, when a slave narrative published in 1863 by Archy Moore was revealed as a novel written by a white historian, Richard Hildreth. And Booklist’s Keir Graff and Galleycat track the media mania....
New York Times, Mar. 4, 8; Likely Stories, Mar. 5; Galleycat, Mar. 5-10

Canceled library meeting prompts federal lawsuit
A meeting titled “Politics and the Pulpit” has spurred a federal lawsuit about freedom of speech and religion filed against the Upper Arlington (Ohio) Public Library. Citizens for Community Values, a Cincinnati-based social-conservative group, claimed in a suit filed March 7 in U.S. District Court in Columbus that the library violated the group’s constitutional rights by first approving and then canceling a meeting February 27 at the library....
Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, Mar. 8

Cover of The Joy of Gay SexSex books moved to library office
Trustees of the Nampa (Idaho) Public Library voted 3–2 March 10 to take two controversial sex books off the shelves and place them in the director’s office until the board can further explore the library’s collection policy. It was the third time in the last two years the board has voted on whether to keep The New Joy of Sex and The Joy of Gay Sex in the stacks. However, both titles have already been checked out by intrigued cardholders....
Nampa (Idaho) Press-Tribune, Mar. 11–12

Cover of The Lovely BonesParent wants The Lovely Bones out of school library
A long-running bestseller, The Lovely Bones, tells the story of a 14-year-old girl who was raped and killed by a neighbor. The book remains popular in local libraries and soon will be made into a movie. But in Waltham, Massachusetts, a local parent says the novel by Alice Sebold is too graphic. She wants it removed from the shelves of the library at the John W. McDevitt Middle School....
Boston Globe, Mar. 9

Gwinnett library to target porn viewers
Gwinnett County (Ga.) Public Library workers will be able to capture browsing histories from library computers and call police on suspected child pornography viewers under an internet safety policy approved March 10. The new policy comes six months after a Lawrenceville woman complained to library employees about seeing a man watching a pornographic video at the Collins Hill branch....
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Mar. 11

Information experts appreciated more these days
Some of the same entrepreneurs that funded the user-generated revolution are now paying professionals to edit and produce online content. In short, the expert is back. The revival comes amid mounting demand for a more reliable, bankable Web. “People are beginning to recognize that the world is too dangerous a place for faulty information,” says consumer strategist Charlotte Beal. She adds that choice fatigue and fear of bad advice are creating a “perfect storm of demand for expert information.”...
Newsweek, Mar. 6

View of the reading area under the vaulted ceiling on the third floor of the new Oak Park Public Library main buildingNancy Pearl’s 10 favorite libraries
NPR book commentator and Book Lust author Nancy Pearl shared the list of her 10 favorite libraries with USA Today. She says of the Oak Park (Ill.) Public Library: “Not only is there a dedicated art gallery, which has monthly displays of works by local artists, there are splendid examples of public art throughout the building—from quilts to sculptures to stained glass. I also enjoy reading the literary quotations scattered on walls throughout the library.”...
USA Today, Mar. 6

Old Norse Bible donated to BYU
A Provo, Utah, resident has donated a nearly 400-year-old Bible written in Old Norse, now the modern Icelandic language, to Brigham Young University. Thor Leifson is the honorary consul of Iceland emeritus and said the Bible was given to his father, J. Victor Leifson, by the family of a missionary who converted Leifson’s relatives to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when they lived in Iceland four generations ago....
Provo (Utah) Daily Herald, Mar. 8

British minister tells London libraries to innovate
London’s public libraries must take innovative steps such as rewarding regular borrowers with vouchers for travel or the cinema if they are to stay relevant to an increasingly web-savvy population, U.K. Culture Secretary Margaret Hodge said March 6. To attract the Google Generation, libraries should consider extending weekend and evening opening hours, introducing a web-based lending service with home delivery, and striking deals with Starbucks or Costa coffee chains....
The Times (U.K.), Mar. 6

Katelyn Mann listens to a story about Orville and Wilbur Wright during storytime in the Warren library last November 3. F. E. Warren AFB photoWarren Air Force Base closes its library
Air Force budget cuts have forced F. E. Warren Air Force Base near Cheyenne, Wyoming, to close its library facility. Col. Mike Morgan, 90th Space Wing Commander, said the base lost $814,600 in service programs as part of military-wide budget revisions. He said closing the library facility represented almost half of the directed cuts and if they didn’t close the facility, the base would have to cut other programs....
Associated Press, Mar. 10

Reader in the Russian State LibraryA visit to the Russian State Library
On its website, the Russian State Library—formerly the Lenin Library—is described as “Russia’s memory.” Much more than the library’s name has changed over the past 16 years, said librarian Galina Prosvetova, who has worked at the library for 23 years. She cited the advent of electronic cataloging and facilities upgrades such as the modern climate-control system in the stacks. One of the most striking differences is the level of accessibility to the public....
Moscow Times, Mar. 11

AL Buyers Guide

Tech Talk

Cover of March 2008 Computers in LibrariesChoosing and implementing a CMS
Ruth Kneale, systems librarian for the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope based in Tucson, describes how she decided to use a Drupal content management system to run her library website: “It couldn’t cost very much, and it had to be compatible with the existing systems (Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP, aka LAMP). After doing a bit of rough research using past issues of Computers in Libraries, Library Hi-Tech, and basic blog and web searches, I knew this was too broad a base to start from. I had to define some ‘must have,’ ‘should have,’ and ‘nice to have’ features that would allow me to do some significant comparisons.”...
Computers in Libraries 28, no. 2 (Mar.)

The Readius flexible reader, from Polymer VisionThe flexible future of e-books
Karl McGoldrick is the CEO of Netherlands-based Polymer Vision, the only company that right now is working on making e-books in a form that’s actually close to traditional books—ones that are mobile, bendable, and, above all, readable. But the device, called Readius, is not just an e-book reader—it receives email, text messages, and RSS feeds, makes phone calls, and keeps calendar and contact information—in addition to downloading books and newspapers wirelessly....
C|Net news, Mar. 12

Cables attached to pegboardGet your cables under control
Gina Trapani writes: “When you finally decide it’s time to do something about that rat’s nest of cables that’s spreading like kudzu, you don’t have to spend a lot of time and money to get it under control. Whether you’re looking to stow your headphone wires tangle-free in your gym bag, hide the ugly wire spaghetti you keep kicking further under your desk, or organize your gadget chargers and power plugs, we’ve got some cord management tricks for you.”...
Lifehacker, Mar. 5

20 things to watch (PDF file)
Stephen Abram writes: “So, what’s on my list of things to pay extra special attention to? When we’re deluged, swamped, and overwhelmed by news and blog postings and other media, what do I use as my filter to trap just the important stuff that will matter to libraries?” Here are his recommendations, in no particular order....
Information Outlook, Mar.

Casio Exilim camera with YouTube capture modeMake your own video mashups for YouTube
Rick Broida writes: “Exercise your video-editing muscles and create a YouTube mashup, something combining original material with existing audio and video. Whether you’re looking for fun or fame, all you need is a video camera, an internet connection, some editing software, and an idea. Something involving Mentos, perhaps?”...
PC World, Mar. 11

Duct tape69 techie uses for duct tape
As one of the world’s most useful products, pretty much everyone loves duct tape, but techies seem to have a special place in their hearts for the versatile adhesive. From the practical (fix your printer) to the slightly silly (personalize your shoelaces), here is a list of some of the best techie uses for duct tape....
Virtual Hosting, Mar. 11

Better YouTube Firefox extension
Watch YouTube videos more efficiently with Better YouTube, a new Firefox extension that compiles YouTube Greasemonkey scripts into a single convenient package. Better YouTube smartly enlarges videos for better viewing, hides user comments, declutters the page, and disables autoplay (great for vids open in a background tab). Created by Gina Trapani, using scripts by various developers....
Lifehacker, Mar. 5

WordPress logo63 WordPress hacks and helps
This is a fairly comprehensive list of the best WordPress tutorials, hacks, help files, and cheat sheets. They are written to make life easier, to help us expand WordPress functionality, and to give us a better understanding of WordPress and how powerful a blogging tool it is...
Speckyboy, Mar. 8

Actions & Answers

Converter box coupon program logoTime to get your patrons converted
The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration has launched the TV Converter Box Coupon Program, as authorized in the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005. All U.S. households are now eligible to request up to two coupons, worth $40 each, to be used toward the purchase of up to two digital-to-analog converter boxes. For more details on the federal regulations, including the budget information, see the coupon program rules....
National Telecommunications and Information Administration

Still from Common Craft video on Twitter. Word balloons: Are you on Twitter? Twitter rocksMessaging service has academics atwitter (subscription required)
Some professors, librarians, and administrators have begun using Twitter, a service that can blast very short notes (up to 140 characters) to select users’ cell phones or computer screens. Twitter lets you send a text message from your cell phone to a list of contacts, called followers, who can set the system to receive messages via their cell phones, their instant-message software, or a web-based program. Cindi Trainor says Twitter could be good for answering reference questions. Watch the video for more information....
Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 29; Citegeist, Mar. 2; Common Craft, Mar. 5

IMLS study on the internet and libraries
Institute of Museum and Library Services Director Anne-Imelda Radice released results of InterConnections: A National Study of Users and Potential Users of Online Information March 6 at the 9th annual WebWise Conference on Libraries and Museums in the Digital World in Miami. This new report offers insight into the ways people search for information in the online age, and how this affects the ways they interact with public libraries and museums, both online and in person....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, Mar. 6

Poster for Mobile Poetry Archive shows Walt Whitman holding an iPodPoets in your pocket
The Academy of American Poets has launched a mobile poetry archive that offers free and direct access on a mobile phone to the entire collection of over 2,500 poems on, as well as hundreds of biographies and essays. Poems can be browsed by author, title, occasion, or form, and searched by keyword. The site is optimized for the iPhone and formatted for effortless access on most mobile devices....
Academy of American Poets, Mar. 10

Systems, schools, and structures
Dorothea Salo writes: “Librarianship has created an immense Somebody Else’s Problem field around computers. Unlike reference work, unlike cataloging, unlike management, systems is all too often not considered a librarian specialization. It is therefore not taught at a basic level in some library schools, not offered as a clear specialization track, and not recruited for. And it is not often addressed in a systematic fashion by continuing-education programs in librarianship. This situation is no longer tenable, if indeed it ever was.” Meredith Farkas agrees and says there’s an even wider problem....
Caveat Lector, Mar. 5; Information Wants to Be Free, Mar. 9

Sudanese boy in a Chad refugee camp. Photo for Book Wish Foundation by Richard WainwrightLibraries for Darfur refugees
The Book Wish Foundation, a new nonprofit providing financial and material support for reading-related programs helping people in crisis around the world, is raising funds for the construction of libraries to serve camps in eastern Chad housing refugees from the Darfur region of Sudan. Donations of all sizes are appreciated....
Book Wish Foundation

One of the World Book spine choicesChoose a spine
Millions of World Book readers will again have the chance to decide the Spinescape image used for the 2009 World Book Encyclopedia by casting their vote in the encyclopedias You Be the Judge event. The Spinescape is World Books trademarked method of printing a unique image across the spine of the 22-volume set. Votes can be cast through March 31....
World Book, Mar. 10

When book groups get really big
Nick DiMartino writes: “How do you choose a book if your group has 5,000 members? Some brainy folks are attempting to answer this question for the third time on the University of Washington campus, as the little team of faculty members and librarians on the committee to choose the incoming freshman class’s Common Book for 2008 begin searching for the next campus-wide read. Besides the freshmen, who will have discussion groups and planned activities around the book all year long, the rest of campus reads the book, too, so that the impact of the book is potentially huge.”...
Book Group Buzz, Mar. 7

Hemingway letters acquired by Penn State LibraryPenn State acquires rare Hemingway correspondence
The Pennsylvania State University Libraries have acquired an important collection of Ernest Hemingway correspondence, the last sizeable and significant known collection of the famed novelist’s letters still in private hands. Amassed by his sister Madelaine “Sunny” Hemingway Mainland and passed on to her son, the set includes more than 100 unpublished letters, telegrams, and notes from Hemingway to his family between 1917 and 1957. Watch the video....
Pennsylvania State University, Mar. 6

Pennsylvania rare books move to improved facility
Pennsylvania’s collection of rare books and materials, including early newspapers and many of Benjamin Franklin’s political and scientific publications, is moving into a new facility within the State Library in Harrisburg to ensure the historic documents are safely preserved. The Rare Collections Library uses state-of-the-art environmental control systems to protect thousands of irreplaceable items from detrimental conditions....
Pennsylvania Department of Education, Mar. 4

Paula Poundstone in Friends of Libraries USA videoPaula Poundstone partners with FOLUSA
Emmy-award winning comedian Paula Poundstone has been named national spokesperson for Friends of Libraries U.S.A. She will lend her name, voice, and humor to help Friends groups around the country promote themselves and their libraries. Poundstone’s 15- and 30-second PSA videos (right) are available for embedding on Friends websites....
Friends of Libraries U.S.A.

A boy reads a book in the library at Edith Durham Compulsory School in Tirana, the Albanian capital. UNICEF/HQ08-0129/PirozziIKEA brings books to Albania
UNICEF and IKEA are reigniting enthusiasm for reading in a generation of children in Albania who have been deprived of books. With €1 million ($1.55 million U.S.) from UNICEF’s largest corporate donor, the Swedish home-furnishing retailer IKEA, the Albania Reads project aims to open a library in each of 850 schools. In collaboration with the government, libraries have already opened in 160 schools—to the delight of children and teachers alike....
UNICEF, Feb. 25

Noah Wyle is The LibrarianLibrarian III: The Curse of the Judas Chalice
TNT has begun production on the third installment of its “Librarian” franchise, with Noah Wyle reprising his title role in The Librarian: The Curse of the Judas Chalice. After a series of dreams leads Flynn Carsen (Wyle), a librarian at the New York Metropolitan Library, to New Orleans (where the film began production in early March), he gets tangled up in a conspiracy involving both the chalice and the legendary vampire Count Dracula....
Zap2It, Mar. 6

Weekly Reader joins Big Universe
Big Universe, an online site dedicated to high-quality children’s books, has signed an agreement with Weekly Reader Publishing to promote its beginning readers and early-learning titles. Weekly Reader titles have traditionally been used by teachers and librarians in schools throughout the country. Posting their books on will bring these lively, colorful nonfiction titles directly into the homes of a new generation of readers....
Big Universe, Mar. 11

Steroid scandal rocks major league libraries (PDF file, satire)
“Daniel Cohen” writes: “More than half of the systems responsible for managing the nearly 17 million titles in the Library of Congress catalog have tested positive for prohibited performance-enhancing content, called metadata, according to an Inspector General’s report expected to be published next month. The investigation was triggered by anonymous tips and overheard conversations between certain unnamed Library staff members alluding to ‘a card catalog on steroids.’”...
Library of Congress Professional Guild, Dec. 17

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ALA Annual Conference logo

ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California, June 26–July 2. For a complete list of preconferences, see the Annual Conference wiki.

Cover of March 15 Booklist

The March 15 Booklist spotlights graphic novels and offers a Spring travel roundup. Pick up your copy at the PLA National Conference. NEW! From Booklist.

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

Take Action logo

Contact your U.S. senator and representative and ask them to sign the Dear Colleague letters being circulated in both the Senate and the House in support of funding for the Library Services and Technology Act and the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries Program. Legislators must sign the letters by March 14.

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Chief Librarian, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt. The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is a library, an international center of intellectual excellence, a space for research, dialogue, an academic institution, a cultural Mecca, and a pioneer in technology and communication. The Chief Librarian will oversee the overall administration, operation and services of the Main Library, the Arts and Multimedia Library, the Taha Hussein Library, the Nobel Section, the Young People’s Library, and the Children’s Library....

@ More jobs...

Digital Library of the Week

Jean Thomas, the Traipsin' Woman, poses at her desk in 1939 in her long black 'Narrator' costume from the American Folk Song Festival. She was being filmed by Jack Jacumski of Georgetown, Ohio. ULPA 1979.33.0201

The University of Louisville Digital Collections is a growing resource that includes rare and unique images, documents, and oral histories from the university archives, special collections, and other campus units. Included in the digital library are photos showing Louisville and neighboring areas, Kentucky maps, historic photos by Claude Matlack and Kate Matthews, an African-American oral history collection, the Newton Owen postcard collection, and snapshots of mountain life by Jean Thomas (the “Traipsin’ Woman,” above).

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

“Bad news, folks. The library is Alachua County’s version of Terri Schiavo, and life support is costing us nearly $20 million each year. It would be an act of mercy to harvest the organs and move on. . . . With the advent of the Internet and Google, virtually no serious research is carried on in the library stacks.”

—George Elmore, in “Pull the Plug on the Library,” a guest editorial advocating closing the Alachua County (Fla.) Library District libraries, Gainesville Sun, Mar. 3.

Dora the Explorer and her sidekick Boots urge kids to celebrate books for El día de los niños/ El día de los libros

April 30 will be El día de los niños/ El día de los libros. Join Dora the Explorer and members of ALSC and Reforma in celebrating the event. Día celebrates the importance of advocating literacy for every child.

Cover of March 2008 College & Research Libraries News

Elizabeth M. Karle offers some ideas for imaginative outreach to make the overall library experience more appealing to students, in the March 2008 issue of College & Research Libraries News.

Ask the ALA Librarian

Old, rare, occult book

Q. One of our regular library visitors recently brought in some leather-bound books he inherited from his grandmother. I don't feel able to evaluate these. Where should I turn?

A. This is a frequently asked question that prompted the development of a pamphlet RTSD formerly gave away called “My Old Books.” Happily, the essence of that pamphlet is still available with the new title “Your Old Books” as a PDF download. You are right to seek external sources for appraisals, though there are online sales records which would be a start. If it is likely that these books would be donated to your library, or the Friends group, remember that the donor is responsible for determining the value of the gift. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.


Apr. 10–11:

Society of American Archivists,
“Understanding Photographs: Introduction to Archival Principles and Practices,” Bryn Mawr School, Baltimore.

Apr. 10–11:
17th North Carolina Serials Conference,
“What’s in a Name? From Serials to Continuing Resources,” North Carolina Central University SLIS, William and Ida Friday Continuing Education Center, Chapel Hill.

Apr. 10–14:
Information Architecture Summit,
Hyatt Regency, Miami. “Experiencing Information.”

Apr. 11:
Midwest Interlibrary Loan Conference,
Loras College, Dubuque, Iowa.

Apr. 11–13:
International Association for Development of the Information Society,
Mobile Learning 2008 International Conference, Algarve, Portugal.

Apr. 13–16:
Community College Foundation,
TechEd 2008: 13th Annual Technology in Education International Conference. Ontario Convention Center, California.

Apr. 15–18:
Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians,
Annual Conference, Manitowoc. “Winds of Change.”

Apr. 16:
Scholarly Communication Symposium,
Drexel University Libraries, Bossone Research Enterprise Center, Philadelphia. “How Web 2.0 Is Changing Scholarly Communication.”

Apr. 21–24:
American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works,
Annual Meeting, Denver. “Creative Collaborations.”

Apr. 23–25:
13th Off-Campus Library Services Conference,
Salt Lake City.

Apr. 26:
First Annual Celebration of Latino Children’s Literature, University of South Carolina, School of Library and Information Science, Columbia. “Connecting Cultures and Celebrating Cuentos.” Contact: Jamie Naidoo, (803) 777-5277.

Oct. 3–4:
Georgia Conference on Information Literacy,
Coastal Georgia Center, Savannah. Submit presentation proposals by April 15. Contact: Janice Reynolds, (912) 871-1755.

@ More...

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