The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | March 19,

U.S. & World News
ALA News
AL Focus
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

Front entrance to NYPL Humanities and Sociial Sciences Library, with one of the lions$1-billion NYPL expansion to add branches, technology
New York Public Library announced a five-year, $1-billion expansion March 11 with the goal of doubling its number of unique users. One element is a $300-million renovation of the Humanities and Social Sciences Library on 5th Avenue that will transform it into a Central Library. The renovated library will also feature improved exhibition spaces, hundreds of new computers, wireless access, meeting rooms, programming venues, and a café....

Boston mayor, library trustees reach compromise
Boston Public Library trustees agreed at a March 11 board meeting to supply city hall with a detailed accounting of how proceeds from tens of millions of dollars in its trust funds have been spent. In return, City Treasurer-Collector Lisa Signori promised to release about $2.5 million in trust fund proceeds the city has held since December in a dispute about oversight....

Wyoming libraries mudflap logoWyoming libraries get endowment fund
The Wyoming State House of Representatives voted 60–0 March 7 to pass the Public Library Endowment Challenge Program. The bill, S.F. 29, which passed the state senate February 21, establishes a $9.1-million endowment for the state’s 23 public library systems. Prior to approval, the Senate Appropriations Committee decreased the figure down from its original $25.3 million, but after two years of unsuccessful attempts to pass the legislation, many library supporters see the establishment of the endowment as the true victory....

Joy of Sex books relocated after third challenge
In response to a third challenge by resident Randy Jackson, the Nampa (Idaho) Public Library board has relocated The New Joy of Sex and The Joy of Gay Sex to the director’s office so the titles can only be accessed by patrons who specifically request them....

Tennessee Library Association logoTLA slams Memphis mayor for political library appointments
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. The February 22 letter 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....

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ALA News

Jim Rettig testifies at the House Subcommittee hearingJim Rettig testifies on EPA libraries
ALA President-elect Jim Rettig testified March 13 before the U.S. House of Representatives on the closure of libraries at the Environmental Protection Agency. Speaking to the House Committee on Science and Technology’s Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, Rettig spoke on several questions that have raised alarm bells within the library community, the science community, and several other affected fields. Watch a webcast of the entire hearing (Rettig begins at 33:20) or read his blog post about the experience....
District Dispatch, Mar. 13; Twilight Librarian, Mar. 18

ALALibraryVal Miles poses beside the 2008 National Library Week Kiosk, wearing the free t-shirt availableSecond ALA Life
Jenny Levine writes: “ALA continues to work with its members and the public to experiment in the virtual world Second Life. We held a party in-world for Banned Books Week last year, and this year some very knowledgeable students in San Jose State University’s SLIS helped rebuild our island. We went from a fairly static, sectioned presence to a more interactive and visually interesting one. There’s a new events area, information about each of our divisions, general information about ALA, some games, and other things to explore.”...
ALA Marginalia, Mar. 14

National Library Week 2008 logoTry out for a National Library Week prize
The Campaign for America’s Libraries is collecting examples from libraries about how they plan to “Join the circle of knowledge @ your library” during National Library Week (April 13–19), and there are rewards for sharing your story. From now until April 21, libraries are encouraged to submit stories, photos, and videos of NLW activities. Libraries can upload videos to You Tube, submit photos to Flickr, or submit a story to the National Library Week 2008 database. Three winners will be selected....

People telling you to votePolitical speech this election year
Mary Ghikas writes: “We are in the midst of an exciting and interesting election year. But that means I must remind you to avoid any action that could give the impression that the ALA—rather than you as an individual private citizen—is engaging in political speech (“the support of or opposition to a candidate for public office”) or that ALA resources are being used for that purpose. ALA, because of its particular tax-exempt status, is expressly, absolutely prohibited by the U.S. Internal Revenue Code from engaging in political speech.”...
ALA Marginalia, Mar. 12

Leonard KniffelPIO launches PR blog
The Public Information Office and the Campaign for America’s Libraries are sharing valuable tips on promoting libraries with a new blog, Visibility @ your library. This blog will provide librarians and library supporters with news and information about important communications issues. First up is a podcast (MP3 file) with American Libraries Editor-in-Chief Leonard Kniffel (right), who explains how news and features get into the magazine and its suite of products....

South Africa celebrates
The Library and Information Association of South Africa, the newest member of the ALA/IFLA Campaign for the World’s Libraries, celebrates South Africa Library Week this week with the theme “From local to global @ your library.” The theme was inspired by Neal Petersen, a South African yachtsman who was the first black man to sail solo around the world....

AL Focus

Still from Doodlebug videoDoodlebug
Nick Baker (Short Pencil Saga, March of the Librarians) returns with another humorous take (0:33) on library life. This time out, he discovers the real culprit behind those annoying doodles you sometimes find in your library books....

Booklist Online logo

Cover of I Am Not Joey PigzaFeatured review: Media
Gantos, Jack. I Am Not Joey Pigza. Nov. 2007. 5 hrs. Listening Library, CD. Grades 5–8 (978-0-7393-6147-4).
With the return of his good-for-nothing dad, Joey Pigza embarks on a new batch of adventures in this fourth title in the popular Pigza series. Joey’s dad, whose new business venture is a bee-themed diner, renames everyone in the family (their surname is now Heinz), including the dogs. Joey (now called Freddy) struggles with his dad’s return and wonders if he can forgive him for the past. As creator of the hyperactive Joey character, Gantos brings empathy and understanding to his reading, fleshing out Joey rather than making him seem like a caricature....

Title Source 3 logoBooklist Online teams with Baker & Taylor
Ordering selected materials will become easier for libraries after a unique functionality between online products Booklist Online and Title Source 3 from Baker & Taylor launches in late March. Title Source 3 customers will be able to click on a list of selected titles built into Booklist Online and place orders directly into Title Source 3 without having to navigate out of Booklist Online....

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

Anaheim Update

John Wayne statue at the John Wayne Orange County AirportAirports serving Anaheim
Four airports serve the Anaheim/Orange County Area. The closest to the Convention Center is the John Wayne Orange County Airport, with a drive time of 20 minutes (13 miles) to Anaheim. When the airport was renamed after John Wayne in 1979, sculptor Robert Summers was commissioned to create a bronze statue of “the Duke.” It now stands in the lobby of the Thomas F. Riley Terminal. Other airports are Long Beach Airport (30 minutes away), Ontario International (45 minutes away), and Los Angeles International (50 minutes away)....
Anaheim/Orange County Visitor and Convention Bureau

Sleeping Beauty Castle at the Disneyland ResortALA discounts on Disney Park tickets
Disney is offering exclusive discounted Disneyland park tickets to attendees of the ALA Annual Conference. These discounted tickets will not be available at the gate and must be purchased online prior to June 11. The discounts range from $10 to $80, depending on the type of ticket purchased. There is a shipping and handling charge of $11.95 for the continental United States. The tickets are valid for 14 days from the time of first use....
Disneyland Resort

Conference networking for introverts
Allison Wolf writes: “Do you dread networking events? Wonder about what to say? Do you find there is something uncomfortable or possibly distasteful about the seemingly compulsory exchange of business cards? If so, then you probably value sincerity and professionalism. Too often networking is reduced to a numbers game of how many business cards you can pass out in an hour. If you are looking for a different approach, one more in alignment with your professional values, then read on.”..., Mar. 16

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Division News

National School Library Media Month poster featuring Abigail BreslinLittle Miss Sunshine brightens School Library Media Month
Abigail Breslin, nominated for an Academy Award for her role in Little Miss Sunshine and starring in the soon-to-be-released Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, has been named a national spokesperson for 2008 School Library Media Month. AASL has collaborated with Picturehouse, HBOFilms, and American Girl to produce a poster featuring Breslin. The poster, which includes on its back information about the Great Depression and a host of activities developed by the AASL School Library Media Month Task Force, will be distributed for free to AASL members working in middle and elementary schools....

YALSA seeks teen tech opinions
YALSA is surveying teens through March 31 on their online habits. The Teen Technology Survey seeks input on teen use of social networking sites, online tools like instant messaging, and online tasks such as shopping or research. It also asks teens about the nonprint and technological resources available at their public and school libraries and allows teens to vote on the 2009 Teen Tech Week theme....

YALSA offers travel help for YA Literature Symposium
YALSA is offering $1,000 stipends to two division members to attend its inaugural Young Adult Literature Symposium at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville, November 7–9. Application deadline is May 1....

LAMA members to vote on name change
LAMA President Bede Mitchell writes: “The LAMA membership will be asked to vote on a proposed name change for our division to the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA). The proposal will be on this spring ballot, which will be available very shortly, but the idea has been simmering this entire decade.”...
Leads from LAMA, Mar. 15

Round Table News

Read about the LSSIRT candidates (PDF file)
The February newsletter of the Library Support Staff Interests Round Table offers biographies of and statements from the candidates for president, secretary, treasurer, and members-at-large of the round table....
LSSIRT Newsletter, Feb.


ALA President Loriene Roy presented Sen. Feingold with the James Madison award on the steps of the Capitol March 13Sen. Feingold honored with James Madison Award
Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) is the recipient of the 2008 James Madison Award, presented by ALA to honor those who, at the national level, have championed, protected, and promoted public access to government information. “His work in the United States Senate to promote the public’s right to know has been extensive and effective,” said ALA President Loriene Roy in her remarks at the National Freedom of Information Day Conference in Washington, D.C. Watch the Washington Office video (0:45)....

ILA logoILA Intellectual Freedom Committee wins IF award
The Illinois Library Association’s two-pronged approach to defending intellectual freedom—advocacy in the Illinois General Assembly and U.S. Congress and education within the library community and general public—has won for its Intellectual Freedom Committee the IFRT ProQuest/SIRS State and Regional Intellectual Freedom Achievement Award. ILA successfully mobilized its membership to influence the defeat of 16 separate legislative efforts to require filters on library computers....

Peggy HoonOITP Copyright Award goes to Hoon
Peggy Hoon, special assistant to the provost for copyright administration at North Carolina State University, is the 2008 recipient of the L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award: In Support of Users’ Rights, which recognizes the contributions of an individual who pursues the constitutional purpose of U.S. copyright law, fair use, and the public domain. Sponsored by the Office for Information Technology Policy, the Patterson Award is named after Lyman Ray Patterson, an influential American copyright scholar and historian....

Patricia TarinTarin receives Catalyst for Change Award
Patricia Tarin, former director of Knowledge River in the School of Information Resources and Library Science at the University of Arizona, is the 2008 recipient of the ALA Elizabeth Futas Catalyst for Change Award. This award is given biennially to an individual for making positive changes in the profession of librarianship and consists of a 24K gold-framed citation and $1,000 contributed by the Elizabeth Futas Memorial Fund....

Ching-chih ChenChen receives Beta Phi Mu Award
Ching-chih Chen, professor of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College, has received the ALA 2008 Beta Phi Mu Award. This annual award, donated by the Beta Phi Mu International Library Science Honorary Society, is presented to a library school faculty member or to an individual for distinguished service to education in librarianship....

Let’s Talk About It: Jewish Literature grants
The ALA Public Programs Office and Nextbook (a gateway to Jewish literature, culture, and ideas) have selected 86 public and academic libraries in 34 states to receive grants for Let’s Talk About It: Jewish Literature programs. The awards mark the final round of these grants. View the full list by state....

Winners selected for Great Stories CLUB grants
The Public Programs Office and YALSA have selected 173 libraries to receive Great Stories CLUB grants, which will support book discussion programs targeting troubled teens. Participating libraries will receive 11 sets of three theme-related books to provide to members of a book club. They will also have access to a variety of online resources, designed to help plan and implement programming. View the full list by state....

Orange County (Fla.) Library System, OrlandoOrange County Library System wins Wilson grant
The Orange County (Fla.) Library System is the 2008 winner of the H. W. Wilson Library Staff Development Grant. This award is presented annually to a library that demonstrates the greatest need for a staff development program that will further the goals and objectives of the library. The award is donated by the H. W. Wilson Company and consists of a citation and $3,500 to assist with the development of a library staff-training program....

Deadline extended for student writing award
LITA has extended to April 10 the deadline for submitting a manuscript for consideration for the Ex Libris Student Writing Award. The award, which goes to an unpublished manuscript submitted by an LIS student, consists of $1,000, a certificate, and publication in LITA’s refereed journal, Information Technology and Libraries....

Sonya Hartnett's Surrender was a 2007 Printz Honor BookSonya Hartnett wins Lindgren Award
Australian author Sonya Hartnett is the winner of the $818,000 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for Literature, the highest-paying children’s book award in the world. Hartnett published her first novel, Trouble All the Way, at the age of 15 and since then has written 18 novels for children, young people, and adults. The Swedish National Arts Council award is named after Astrid Lindgren, the Swedish children’s writer whose Pippi Longstocking has captivated generations of children around the world....
Associated Press, Mar. 13

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Seen Online

Cover of LJ Movers & Shakers supplement 2008Movers and Shakers for 2008
The 50 individuals who are Library Journal’s 2008 Movers and Shakers represent thousands of others across North America who are transforming libraries for the better. They work in public libraries, in school and academic libraries, in law firms and hospitals, in companies and government. Like those thousands, this year’s Movers didn’t ask for recognition—in fact, they don’t even know when they’ve been nominated by their colleagues. See the full list here....
Library Journal, Mar. 15

Cover of The Land, by Mildred Taylor, one of the two books a Tampa parent found offensiveWord in two Tampa school library books angers family
Two months ago, when Ashyaa Brown, a student in the gifted program at Hilda T. Turner Elementary School in Tampa, Florida, discovered a racially offensive term in two books from the school’s accelerated reading list, her parents complained. Media Specialist Donna Simonetti-Tedesco told Darryl Brown he could file a formal complaint, but used the “n word” when discussing the book’s contents. That incensed him even more, and now she has been reported to the Office of Professional Standards to review her use of language....
St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, Mar. 17

Cover of New Orleans Public Library Master PlanJazz musician announces New Orleans Library plan
Jazz trumpeter Irvin Mayfield, who is also chair of the New Orleans Public Library Board of Directors, unveiled a 25-year, $625-million plan (PDF file) March 18 for a reinvigorated library system that reflects the city’s identity. It would start with a jazz-themed branch that houses early recordings and reviews. Other branches planned for the next 5–10 years include a culinary branch based on the city’s unique cuisine, and an architecture branch that pays homage to the city’s woodworkers and ironworkers....
New Orleans Times-Picayune, Mar. 18

New C. V. Starr East Asian Library at UC-BerkeleyBerkeley East Asian Library is first of its kind
The new $46.4-million, four-story, C. V. Starr East Asian Library opened March 17 at the University of California-Berkeley, with 450,000 items in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean under one roof for students, scholars, and members of the public alike. The university says it is the first freestanding structure at a U.S. university built solely for East Asian collections....
San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, Mar. 17

Marathon County librarians accept downgrades
Three librarians whose positions at the downtown Wausau library were eliminated have accepted the new positions offered—and the $10,000 pay cuts that go with them—but not without continued outcry. Library director Phyllis Christensen announced at the March 17 Marathon County (Wis.) Public Library trustees meeting that Sharyn Heili, Diane Peterson, and Michael O’Connor have accepted the spots offered them as customer service librarians....
Wausau (Wis.) Daily Herald, Mar. 17

Lindsay branch of the Tulare County (Calif.) LibraryCalifornia librarian fired after reporting child-porn incident
The Tulare County (Calif.) Board of Supervisors issued a statement March 18 saying that officials had “legitimate business reasons” to fire Lindsay branch librarian Brenda Biesterfeld and that her dismissal had nothing to do with her reporting a child-pornography incident at the library. But Biesterfeld has no doubt that losing her job March 6 stemmed from her decision to call police about a man she saw viewing images of naked boys on one of the library’s public computers February 28. When she reported it to her supervisor Judi Hill, she was told not to go to police. She did so anyway, resulting in the patron’s arrest. The incident has generated nationwide debate....
Visalia (Calif.) Times-Delta, Mar. 14, 18

Library scuffle injures director
The director of the Greensburg Hempfield (Pa.) Area Library was injured March 12 while blocking a married couple who allegedly tried to steal a Christmas novel, Finding Noel by Richard Paul Evans. During a scuffle near the metal detector at the downtown library’s entrance, David Shawn Cook allegedly shoved Director Cesare J. Muccari, who needed three staples to close a gash on the right side of his head. Cook turned himself in March 15 and was charged with simple assault, conspiracy, and harassment....
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Mar. 14, 18

Cover of The Supernaturalist, by Eoin Colfer, one of the titles under reviewMiddle-school library affirms occult titles
The Lackawanna (N.Y.) School Board voted 5–2 March 12 to restore six book titles to a list of 280 supernatural-fiction books recommended by its middle-school library committee following accusations of censorship by some parents and teachers. In January, a board member had asked that the books be pulled for review, but that didn’t sit well with some parents. Lisa Berst, middle-school librarian and a member of the library committee, said the books were recommended for library shelves because of their popularity with students....
Buffalo (N.Y.) News, Mar. 15

Court: Drug testing unnecessary for library workers
A city can’t require all job applicants to be screened for narcotics and must instead show why drug use in a particular job would be dangerous, a federal appeals court ruled March 13. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled against the city of Woodburn, Oregon, which argued it was entitled to maintain a drug-free workplace. The city was sued by Janet Lanier, whose job offer as a part-time page at the city library was withdrawn in 2004 when she refused a drug and alcohol test. The court found no basis to test applicants for library positions....
San Francisco Chronicle, Mar. 14

Sports Illustrated back issues are to go online, with covers like the 1971 Ali-Frazier fightMagazines dust off their back issues
As magazines and newspapers hunt for the new thing they need to be to thrive in the internet era, some find that part of the answer lies in the old thing they used to be. Publications are rediscovering their archives, like a person learning that a hand-me-down coffee table is a valuable antique. For magazines and newspapers with long histories, especially, old material can be reborn on the Web as an inexpensive way to attract readers, advertisers, and money....
New York Times, Mar. 17

Brockhaus Enzyklopädie at the Frankfurt Bookfair, October 2005. Photo by Andreas PraefckePrint encyclopedias in crisis
A series of announcements from publishers across the globe in the last few weeks suggests that ahead of other books, magazines, and even newspapers, the classic multivolume encyclopedia is well on its way to becoming an internet casualty. Sales of the printed edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica are just 10% of what they were in 1990, Brockhaus is putting all 300,000 of its articles online for free, and Gyldendal has decided that the subscription plan for its online encyclopedia is misguided....
New York Times, Mar. 16

Focus on algebra, panel tells schools
American students have fallen below top-performing nations in math because their courses skim the surface of too many topics, critics say. The National Mathematics Advisory Panel is calling for schools to focus on key topics that promote success in algebra, a gatekeeper for higher-level math and science. Its closely watched report Foundations for Success, released March 13, is part of a growing chorus of voices calling for reform in U.S. math education....
Christian Science Monitor, Mar. 13

Early Book Club edition cover of The Long GoodbyeChicago “One Book” pick is a Chandler classic
The Long Goodbye by hard-boiled master Raymond Chandler is the 14th and latest book selected for the Chicago Public Library’s “One Book, One Chicago” program. Twice a year, in the spring and fall, the library selects a new title for the program in an effort to promote reading and discussion among all city residents. “This program reminds us that we just can’t tell kids reading is important,” Chicago Mayor Richard Daley said. “We as adults have to set an example.”...
Chicago Tribune, Mar. 15

Julia Keller on public libraries
Chicago Tribune columnist Julia Keller reflected on the future of public libraries on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer: “The way we get our knowledge may change, but human nature doesn’t. And there is something profoundly consoling about a public library, about a shared space brimming with stories.”...
The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Mar. 13

Librarian sues Ohio State to get his job back
A former head of reference and instructional services at Ohio State University’s Mansfield campus, who was accused of sexual harassment in 2006 after recommending a conservative book for freshmen, has filed a lawsuit against the university and some of its faculty. Scott Savage, who said he resigned because of personal and professional attacks on his character, is asking for his job back and for OSU to be forced to change its sexual-harassment policies....
Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, Mar. 15

Gangs lay siege to Scottish library
Police have been called 19 times in the last three months to a library in suburban Edinburgh after the building became a target for teenage gangs. Regular users of Muirhouse Library say they are being driven out by “intimidating” groups of youths who are using the internet facilities. On one occasion, police were called to the library three times in one night when £3,000 worth of damage was caused to the toilets. While officers were inside inspecting the damage, the police car was vandalized outside the library....
Edinburgh Evening News, Mar. 17

AL Buyers Guide

Tech Talk

PicLens image displayFly through your images
Jenny Levine writes: “Check out the cool PicLens browser extension for Firefox or Internet Explorer on Windows or Mac. It gives you a full-screen experience of flying through a photostream from a variety of websites. Simply install the extension and a small play button will appear over pictures on certain websites (such as Flickr, Facebook, and Google Image Search). Click on the play button and you’ll see a wall of the images that you can maneuver through. It’s very cool.” Download it and check out Jenny’s Flickr set from the Delft (Holland) Public Library, “quite possibly the most amazing library I’ve ever seen.”...
The Shifted Librarian, Mar. 14

Facebook logoFacebook adds privacy controls, chat
Michael Arrington writes: “Facebook announced new privacy controls at a press event at their Palo Alto headquarters March 18, and also demoed a new chat application—called Facebook Chat—that has been rumored since last week. The new privacy controls, scheduled to launch March 19, allow users to do more with Friend Lists. And in coming weeks, users will see a chat bar on the bottom of all Facebook pages, showing which of their friends are online, who they’re chatting with currently, and other controls.”...
TechCrunch, Mar. 18

Google Books Availability API
Google has released a new API that lets you link easily to any of its books. Web developers can use the Books Viewability API to quickly find out a book’s viewability on Google Book Search and, in an automated fashion, embed a link to the book in Google Book Search on their own sites. Here is how the Deschutes (Oreg.) Public Library is using it....
Google Blog, Mar. 13

Top 10 DIY laptop stands
Gina Trapani writes: “When your hot laptop needs ventilation and your wrists need a break from a flat keyboard, you can drop 50 bucks on a fancy commercial laptop stand—or you can build one of your own. Do-it-yourself laptop users have built several creations from common household materials to keep their notebooks elevated while they work. Made of everything from wine corks to door stops to paper (and paper towel) holders, check out our favorite top 10 do-it-yourself laptop stands for your lap and workspace pleasure.”...
Lifehacker, Mar. 19

Network administrator’s toolkit
Oliver Rist writes: “Keeping your network healthy means putting together an effective toolkit to keep it running well. You’ll need more than a little black bag with screwdrivers and a cable crimper—you’ll need smart software and at least a little dedicated hardware. We’ve rounded up a set of software and hardware tools that will keep your network toolkit up-to-date—even extending to wireless networking. Best of all, these come in a wide range of prices.”...
PC Magazine, Mar. 11

Actions & Answers

On the Record, but off the track (PDF file)
LC Reference Librarian Thomas Mann has responded to On the Record (PDF file), the final report of the Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control, in a 38-page paper. He writes that its recommendations, “while well-intentioned, are unfortunately so naïve about the requirements of scholarly research that, if implemented in the particular way proposed by the Group, will seriously undercut the capacity of scholarly researchers everywhere to pursue their topics systematically and at in-depth levels.” He does offer an alternative solution that “reflects reality over theory.”...
Library of Congress Professional Guild, Mar. 14

Still from video on how to play Guitar Hero like a proHow-to video directory
Have you ever wanted to know how to make Challah bread the old fashioned way? Try out Videojug, voted best online video site of 2007 by OVGuide. They call themselves “the world’s most comprehensive library of free factual video content online.” The video quality is much better than what you find on YouTube and is generally edited decently well. They have offices in the U.K. and the U.S., so you get a fair amount of videos with those fantastic British accents....
Infodoodads, Mar. 18

RDA/MARC working group established
Under the auspices of the British Library, the Library and Archives Canada, and the Library of Congress, an RDA/MARC Working Group has been established to collaborate on the development of proposals for changes to the MARC 21 formats to accommodate the encoding of RDA data. With the implementation of RDA anticipated for late 2009, the Working Group will be drafting proposals for review and discussion by the MARC community in June....
Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA, Mar. 13

Max Anderson's SOLINET trading card, with word balloon that says "I Love Technology"Using trading cards as a promotional tool
Max Anderson writes: “At SOLINET, we are trying new and funky ways to make sure not only our fellow staff members know what we do, but also people we meet out in the field. The cost was quite good, and we even had them printed on post-consumer waste paper to fall in with our green initiatives this year. We are doing a Training Showcase March 24 to promote our newest classes to staff members, and each will get one of our cards.” The picture is on one side, interesting facts are on the verso....
CE Buzz, Mar. 17

17 tips for getting bloggers (and maybe AL Direct) to link to you
Cory Doctorow writes: “I love getting good suggestions for things to write about in Boing Boing, but often I can’t write about them because the people who posted the material did something crazy. These are simple design and deployment mistakes that kept me from picking up a link and reposting it where millions might find it. Here’s the list, a kind of antichecklist for anyone who’s spending money and time trying to get a message out.”...
Information Week, Mar. 11

Picturing America websitePicturing America program launched at White House
On February 26 at the White House the National Endowment for the Humanities launched Picturing America, an innovative program that helps teach American history and provides students with a gateway to the broader world of the humanities. Picturing America is composed of 40 carefully selected works of American art spanning several centuries. The NEH will distribute reproductions to schools and libraries nationwide....
National Endowment for the Humanities, Feb. 27

Academic librarians and scholarly LIS journals
Steven Bell writes: “Thanks to everyone who took two minutes or so to complete the completely unscientific survey instrument I created to capture some information about your reading habits when it comes to scholarly journals targeted to academic librarians. It’s good to see that academic librarians are reading the scholarly journals after all—or at least scanning the contents. Hey, one person even admitted to reading the book reviews.”...
ACRLog, Mar. 17

Limit your NTIS search to specific collectionsBetter access to NTIS
The National Technical Information Service has launched an improved search engine with such features as enhanced retrieval speed, expanded access, and efficient response to search requests. Nearly 3 million NTIS records from 1964 to the present are retrievable, and you may order them in your choice of format (printed copy, downloads, CD-ROM, or microfiche)....
National Technical Information Service, Mar. 18

Open-access dissertations (subscription required)
Graduate students in the University of Iowa’s writing programs are up in arms over a possible plan that could make their novels and other creative works—done as dissertations—freely available on the Web. Language added to the thesis submission form this year says that the University of Iowa Library will scan hard-copy theses and “make them open-access documents,” which it defines as freely available over the internet and retrievable “via search engines such as Google.” However, it seems the plan is only in the very early talking stage. Peter Suber has some comments....
Chronicle of Higher Education, Mar. 13; Emerging Writers Network, Mar. 17; Open Access News, Mar. 13

Mellon grant to help catalog hidden collections
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the Council on Library and Information Resources $4.27 million to create a national program to identify and catalog hidden special collections and archives. Through a national competition, the program will award funds to institutions holding collections of high scholarly value that are difficult or impossible to locate through finding aids. Award recipients will create descriptive information for their hidden collections that will be linked to all other projects funded by this grant....
Council on Library and Information Resources, Mar. 18

SLA logoSLA lauds GAO report on EPA library closures
The Special Libraries Association March 18 applauded the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s recent report on the Environmental Protection Agency’s library closures. SLA staff participated in the investigation to voice the concerns of the specialized librarian community. The GAO found that the EPA did not adequately consult agency staff, outside experts, or stakeholders before undertaking its reorganization, and failed to take into account the needs of the public to have access to the materials....
Special Libraries Association, Mar. 18

Flooded Findlay Library, August 21, 2007FEMA funds to Findlay
The Findlay–Hancock County (Ohio) Public Library has received notice of a $1.43-million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help pay for damage caused by the August 2007 flood in Findlay. President Bush declared the area a national disaster on September 11, 2007. The funds will be used to reconstruct the lower level of the building that was completely destroyed by the flood. The rest of the funds will be used for mitigation purposes....
Findlay–Hancock County (Ohio) Public Library, Mar. 13

Cover of March/April Educause ReviewRoles and expectations for digital libraries
Peter Brantley writes: “Over the last 10 years, libraries have begun to struggle to put much of their content online. I think of these digital collections as ‘knapsacks’ of content. But the success of libraries is not to be counted by the number of books, either digital or paper, held by libraries or the number of pretty pictures that libraries can put online. Libraries are successful to the extent that they can bridge communities and can leverage the diversity of the quest, the research, and the discovery.”...
Educause Review 43, no. 2 (Mar/Apr.)

A post-Patriot Reauthorization Act reassessment
Susan Nevelow Mart writes: “Librarians do not oppose law enforcement’s legitimate efforts to fight terrorism through the use of legal process in libraries; what librarians oppose is government fishing expeditions directed at the content of what people read or access in the library. In light of the evidence of abuse of civil liberties and the questionable constitutionality of many of the Patriot Act’s provisions, this paper suggests that the time for vigorous advocacy has not passed and that further legislative changes need to be made.”...
Social Science Research Network, Mar. 12

Still from Jennifer Sechler's video application for Disney CMOChildren’s librarian a finalist for Disney Chief Magic Official
Jennifer Sechler, former children’s librarian at Westerville (Ohio) Public Library, is one of 10 finalists for the honorary one-year position of Chief Magic Official for the Walt Disney Company. Job duties are making magical decrees, creating magic experiences, interacting with guests, and appearing at Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Watch her video and vote for your favorite finalist by March 22....

Shaping Outcomes ad

ALA Annual Conference logo

ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California, June 26–July 2.

Jamie Lee Curtis

Actress and author Jamie Lee Curtis will present the keynote address at the PLA President’s Program and Awards Presentation at ALA Annual Conference, June 30, 5:00–6:30 p.m., courtesy of HarperCollins Children’s Books.

Cover of Transforming Library Service Through Information Commons

Academic, public, and school librarians who are considering an Information Commons or are looking for ways to improve their existing one will find a wealth of information in Transforming Library Service Through Information Commons by D. Russell Bailey and Barbara Gunter Tierney. The authors provide 20 case studies with a wealth of how-to advice. 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

ALA 2008 election

Ballot mailing begins this week, and the election polls are open.

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Library Director, Harrisburg Area Community College, Lancaster Campus Library. Strong leadership, visionary, communication, financial, interpersonal skills with open, supportive style are essential. The college also plays a vital role in improving the quality of life in Central Pennsylvania by providing high-quality, low-cost, educational opportunities....

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Digital Library of the Week

Biennial Report of the State Veterinarian of Nebraska, 1908

The Nebraska Public Documents project provides free public access to digitized historic annual reports of state agencies in Nebraska for the use of students, scholars, and the general public. Eventually, the project will provide access to state government agency reports from 1891 through 1956, with metadata enhancements as funds become available. Earlier reports will be provided as they are located and digitized. This site is made possible through the funding and support of the Nebraska Library Commission, the Nebraska State Historical Society, the Nebraska State Records Board, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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

“Do you honestly believe that these books that contain mystery, adventure, and science fiction are reality? Let me know the next time you see someone flying by with supernatural powers, animals talking, dragons breathing fire, and goblins living amongst us. . . . Please let me know and I’ll contact the proper authorities.”

—Lackawanna, New York, parent Lisa Lofredo, in expressing her objections to the school board’s reconsideration of such “occult” titles as Eoin Colfer’s The Supernaturalist for area middle schools, Buffalo (N.Y.) News, Mar. 15.

Theodore Roosevelt at his bully pulpit

Want to discuss an issue or news item you’ve read about in AL Direct? Start a topic in AL Forum, where readers can sound off and hold forth. If it’s your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ. You have to register before can post, and you have to read the first question in the FAQ before you can register.

Ask the ALA Librarian

Still from ALA Island in Second Life video

Q. Is learning about Second Life worth my time?

A. Like blogs, wikis, MySpace, Plinkit, and all the other Internet Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 tools, Second Life is what you make of it. This online virtual world allows for unique social interaction with others. If you can’t see using it for patron outreach, consider using it to communicate with other librarians and library workers. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki.

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.


Mar. 25–28:

Catholic Library Association,
Annual Convention, Embassy Hotel, Indianapolis.

Mar. 25–29:
Public Library Association,
12th National Conference, Minneapolis.

Apr. 12:
Third Annual Newberry Library/Caxton Club Symposium on the Book,
Newberry Library, Chicago. “Rare Books and the Common Good: American Perspectives.” Seating is limited, so advance registration is required. Contact: Caxton Club.

Apr. 12:
Drop Everything and Read Day,
sponsored by HarperCollins, encourages families to designate at least 30 minutes to enjoy books together. Libraries must request materials by March 20.

Apr. 13–19:
National Library Week.
“Join the circle of knowledge @ your library.”

Apr. 15:
National Library Workers Day.
“Libraries Work Because We Do!”

Apr. 23:
Green Libraries Unconference,
Arlington (Va.) Public Library. Explore ideas for greening public libraries, developing sustainable business practices, and creating public information. Contact: Steve Carr.

Apr. 23–25:
Conference on Understanding Institutional Copyright Policy,
Omni Austin Hotel, Austin, Texas.

May 13–14:
National Library Legislative Day,
Washington, D.C.

Sept. 3–5:
“Knowledge Acquisition from the Social Web,” Messe Center, Graz, Austria. This workshop aims to develop and bring together a community of researchers interested in discussing the manifold challenges and potentials of knowledge acquisition from the social web. Submit presentation application by April 28.

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