The e-newsletter of the American Library Association | May 7,

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

Stanislaus County Library, Modesto branchStanislaus County Library lays off 94 part-timers
Anticipating drastically reduced revenue from a dedicated sales tax and state aid, Stanislaus County (Calif.) Library officials issued layoff notices May 1 to 94 of the system’s 138 part-time staff, effective June 30, just before the FY 2008–09 budget year begins. “This is a very, very sad thing for us to do,” Stanislaus County Librarian Vanessa Czopek said in the May 2 Modesto Bee. “We hope we don’t have to be in this mode for very long.”...

Librarians join challenge to Oregon harmful-to-minors laws
The American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon and ALA’s Freedom to Read Foundation have joined 13 other plaintiffs in challenging two state laws that criminalize the provision of “sexually explicit” materials to minors. Filed in U.S. District Court April 25, the suit says that the statute, which is aimed at sexual predators, is so vague that it could intimidate Oregonians from giving youngsters sex-education materials and other constitutionally protected works....

South Walkerville branch of the Windsor Public LibraryOversight tension threatens future of Ontario branch
The board of the Windsor (Ont.) Public Library, which voted April 9 to close the South Walkerville branch (right) as a result of a $400,000 budget cut imposed by the city council in February, is rethinking its decision after the council ousted one trustee and appointed two new ones April 28. The library board’s original plan was to close the branch in August when its lease is due to expire....

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ALA News

Camila AlireCamila Alire elected 2009–2010 ALA president
Camila Alire, dean emerita at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and Colorado State University in Fort Collins, has been elected ALA president for the 2009–2010 term. Alire won over J. Linda Williams, coordinator of library media services for Anne Arundel County public schools in Annapolis, Maryland. Alire was elected with 8,956 votes. Williams received 7,102 votes. Alire will become president-elect in July 2008, and will assume the ALA presidency in July 2009, following the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago....

ALA election results
Thirty-five members have been elected to ALA Council. Thirty-three of those elected will begin their term at the conclusion of the 2008 Annual Conference in Anaheim, California, and extend through the end of the 2011 Annual Conference held in New Orleans. One councilor will serve a one-year term that begins immediately and extends to the end of the 2009 Annual Conference in Chicago. Voting results for Council (PDF file), for divisions and round tables (PDF file), as well as bylaws outcomes (PDF file), are on the ALA website....

Cover of TTYL10 most challenged books of 2007
For a second consecutive year, Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell’s award-winning And Tango Makes Three, a children’s book about two male penguins caring for an orphaned egg, tops the list of ALA’s 10 Most Challenged Books of 2007. Three books are new to the list: Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes; The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman; and TTYL, by Lauren Myracle....

ALA website redesign 2d-level landing pageWebsite redesign on ITTS blog
A preview of the redesigned ALA website, to be unveiled at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California, is now available online on the ITTS Update blog. The purpose of this post is to introduce the new graphic design and information architecture, as well as get feedback. The redesign is in response to user concerns about the way information was organized. Users were saying the site didn’t match their mental models....

Take Me Out to the Ball-Game:  The Sensational Base Ball Song. Words by Jack Norworth. Music by Albert Von Tilzer. New York: The York Music Co., Albert Von Tilzer, Mg'r, 40 West 28th St., 1908. Courtesy of Johns Hopkins University Libraries sheet music collection100th anniversary of “Take Me Out to the Ball-Game”
2008 marks the 100th anniversary of the iconic song “Take Me Out to the Ball-Game,” and to celebrate, the Campaign for America’s Libraries will host a program focused on this seventh-inning classic. “Baseball’s Greatest Hit: The Story of ‘Take Me Out to the Ball-Game’” will feature Andy Strasberg, coauthor of a book of the same name and one of the country’s leading experts on the song, on Saturday, June 28, in Anaheim, California....

Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) at the Dia eventDía on Capitol Hill
On April 30, several U.S. Senators and Representatives celebrated Día de los Niños/Día de los Libros in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill. Pat Mora, award-winning children’s author and founder of the celebration, joined them for the event in the U.S. Capitol. Congressional Democrats discussed the importance of strengthening literacy programs for young children as they celebrated literature and the joy of teaching children to read....
District Dispatch, May 1

Gaming Symposium logoCall for gaming presenters in November
Jenny Levine writes: “We’re in full swing for planning the second annual ALA TechSource Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium, which will take place November 2–4, in Oak Brook, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago. If your library is doing something innovative with gaming, if you’re doing research around gaming and libraries, or if you have ideas to propose and share, please submit a proposal. We want to offer another great program chock full o’ the best sessions, and that could include you! The deadline is June 15.”...
ALA TechSource, May 7

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Celebrity READ posterKareem and ALA
Author and retired NBA basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has joined ALA’s popular Celebrity READ poster series. The poster campaign is one of the most effective ways to encourage people to get a good education, improve reading skills, and read for sheer enjoyment. Abdul-Jabbar is the 2008 Honorary Chair of Library Card Sign-up Month, which takes place in September....
NBA Fan Voice, May 2

Idearc volunteers painting at Soundview branch in the BronxIdearc volunteers spruce up a Bronx library
The children’s room of the New York Public Library’s Soundview branch in the Bronx was renovated April 25–26 by 40 Idearc Media volunteers. This makeover of the children’s area features a Bronx Zoo theme, with murals of animals reading with children. Idearc Media, home to and publisher of the Verizon Yellow Pages, is partnering with ALA to refurbish reading areas in three public libraries....

California associations to cosponsor Advocacy Institute
The California Library Association and the California School Library Association will cosponsor the Advocacy Institute to be held during ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California. “School Libraries in Crisis: Why Everyone Should Care” will take place on Friday, June 27....

Booklist Online logo

Cover of The CrossroadsFeatured review: Books for youth
Grabenstein, Chris. The Crossroads. May 2008. 336p. Random, hardcover. (978-0-375-84697-7).
If Grabenstein’s first YA book were to receive a one-word review, the word would be Coooool, a term that applies in a variety of ways—from the book’s cover image (a face peering out of the bark of a tree) and its hitchhiking, hot-rodding ghosts to its creepy atmosphere, believable story, and suspense that engulfs readers from the very first page. Even the characters are cool, including contemporary, doo-wop, and even Dickensian types. Grabenstein, who has won the Anthony Award for his adult mysteries and whose writing career encompassed writing for television and work for the Muppets, brings a great sense of timing to this mysterious fright ride....

Top 10 crime fiction for youth, 2008
Gillian Engberg writes: “Fantasy and historical-fiction fans will find plenty to please them among this year’s Top 10 youth mystery selections, all reviewed in Booklist during the past 12 months. Young Anglophiles, though, are the real winners; half of the following titles are set in London, past and present.”...

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

Anaheim Update

Queen-size guest room, Anabella HotelHousing in Anaheim
Rumor has it that ALA has no hotel rooms left for Annual Conference in Anaheim. Well, rumor can be a helpful source—but not this time. As of May 6, there were 7,992 sold or committed rooms on Friday night, rising to 8,212 on Saturday night, with 8,025 on Sunday night. Those figures put us right in our normal range. It’s still possible to get a “pending” message from ALA’s housing bureau. Why? Usually it relates to the specifics of a given request—dates, room type, configuration. More rooms will open up at the end of this week....
ALA Marginalia, May 7

Beta Phi Mu celebrates 60 years (PDF file)
Members of Beta Phi Mu will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the international honor society for library and information science at the Sheraton Park Hotel Tiffany Terrace and Patio in Anaheim, June 28. The event will also serve as the initiation ceremony for its new members and the installation ceremony for its new chapter at Valdosta (Ga.) State University....
Beta Phi Mu

California Screamin' ride at Disney's California AdventureThrill seekers, rejoice
Orange County’s theme parks aren’t just for kids. Several rides that will have even grown-ups gripping the seat include Disney’s California Adventure’s California Screamin’ and Twilight Zone Tower of Terror; Knott’s Berry Farm’s GhostRider, Xcelerator, and Supreme Scream; and Wild Rivers Waterpark’s Congo River Rapids....
Anaheim/Orange County Visitor and Convention Bureau

Trail among the trees at Carbon Canyon Regional ParkCarbon Canyon Regional Park
If you have some time for some nearby outdoor recreation after the conference, you might consider Carbon Canyon Regional Park in Brea, nestled among the rolling foothills of the Chino Hills range. Sixty of the park’s 124 acres are developed; of the remaining acreage, a 10-acre grove of coastal redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) has been established. Throughout the developed park are pepper trees, sycamores, eucalyptus, and pines....
Orange County Parks

President Nixon's VH-3A "Sea King" helicopter on permanent displayRichard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
The Nixon Library in Yorba Linda is now one of 12 administered by the National Archives. The museum offers a narrative of the 37th president’s life and career. Behind the museum is the birthplace, the house constructed by Nixon’s father and restored as it was in 1910. President and Mrs. Nixon are buried on the grounds, just a few feet from the birthplace. The compound also contains the Loker Center and Annenberg Court, a wing with a special exhibit room, and a replica of the East Room of the White House....
Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace Foundation ad

Division News

LAMA becomes LLAMA
LAMA members have voted overwhelmingly to change the name of the division to the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA). The new name will become official September 1. More than 90% of the division’s members were in favor of the change....

Sari FeldmanSari Feldman elected PLA vice president
Sari Feldman, executive director of the Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Public Library, has been elected PLA vice-president/president-elect. Feldman has been a member of PLA and ALA for more than 15 years and has served on numerous committees. She is a member of WebJunction’s E-Learning Advisory Committee and a former president of the New York Library Association’s Youth Services Section....

PLA approves new bylaws
PLA members voted to approve changes to the bylaws, effectively reshaping the structure of the organization. The process to change the bylaws began several years ago when the PLA Board undertook a strategic planning process with the goal of determining how to become a more nimble organization that is highly responsive to member needs....

Naomi KleinKlein, Alexie, and Glass will keynote ACRL National Conference
ACRL has gathered a celebrated lineup of keynote speakers for its 14th National Conference, “Pushing the Edge: Explore, Engage, Extend,” March 12–15, 2009, in Seattle. Journalist Naomi Klein (right) will provide the opening keynote, author and filmmaker Sherman Alexie will give the keynote luncheon, and radio producer Ira Glass will be the closing speaker....

T. Berry BrazeltonBrazelton to speak at ALSC President’s Program
Pediatrician T. Berry Brazelton will be the featured speaker at the 2007 Charlemae Rollins President’s Program, sponsored by ALSC on June 30. The program is part of the ALA Auditorium Speaker Series to be held during Annual Conference in Anaheim, California. Brazelton will address the role of librarians, educators, and other child advocates in the strengthening of families....

Tween with YA librarianGot tweens?
Reach the burgeoning tween generation with YALSA’s “Got Tweens? Serving Younger Teens and Tweens” preconference, June 27, in Anaheim, California. You’ll meet authors who write for this audience (Bruce Hale, Jon Scieszka, Lisi Harrison, Amy Goldman Koss, Ingrid Law, and Lisa Yee), gain exposure to literature for them through booktalks, and learn about professional resources to aid in providing library service to this group in your school and public library....

BIGWIG logoLITA’s BIGWIG launches new site
On May 1, the LITA Blogs, Interactive Groupware, and Wikis Interest Group (BIGWIG), launched YourBIGWIG, a new site designed to promote better communication among members. BIGWIG is responsible for maintaining the LITA Blog and LITA Wiki, and it puts on the Social Software Showcase, an online unconference occurring around and during the time of ALA Annual Conference....

C&RL preprints are now open access
ACRL’s College & Research Libraries has launched an open access, pre-publication service for accepted articles. The preprint service, which made its debut in March, moved to an open access model in an effort to make timely new research articles available to a wider audience. C&RL preprint articles are now freely available on the ACRL website....

New ALCTS Electronic Discussion Forum
Registration begins May 8 and ends May 13 for ALCTS leaders and membership to take part in an electronic discussion focusing on communication. The discussion begins at 10 a.m. Eastern time on May 14 and concludes at 6 p.m. on May 16. The facilitators for this discussion are Pamela Bluh and Dina Giambi....

Round Table News

New reduced student rate for MAGERT membership
Library and information science students who are ALA members can now join the Map and Geography Round Table for a reduced annual fee of $10. MAGERT offers exciting opportunities to engage the rapidly evolving world of map and geography librarianship, geospatial metadata (including map cataloging), and Geographic Information Systems through its meetings, publications, and discussion list....


Gateway/Al-Bawaba Project logoLibrary of the Future Award winner
San Diego County (Calif.) Library is the 2008 winner of the ALA Information Today Library of the Future Award. This award is presented annually to a library with an application demonstrating innovative planning for, applications of, or development of patron training programs about information technology in a library setting. Its winning initiative was the Gateway/Al-Bawaba Project, a community outreach program that provides internet and computer instruction to the Middle Eastern population in San Diego County....

Nancy P. ZimmermanAASL Distinguished Service Award winner
Nancy P. Zimmerman, associate professor at the University of South Carolina SLIS, is the recipient of the 2008 AASL Distinguished Service Award. Since 1986, Zimmerman has made an impact on the mission of AASL as a membership chair, a key member of several committees, a creator of the “Celebrate Conference,” a member of the School Library Media Research Editorial Board, and AASL treasurer and president....

AASL Intellectual Freedom Award winner
Kristie Michalowski, media specialist at the J. C. Magill Elementary School in Loganville, Georgia, has been awarded the 2008 AASL Intellectual Freedom Award, sponsored by ProQuest. Over the course of her career in the Gwinnett County Public School system, Michalowski has been challenged four times regarding titles in the school library, and she has been active in the revision of local policies for use of instructional resources....

AASL Frances Henne Award winner
Sarah Prielipp, school library media specialist at Lakeview Elementary School in Gillette, Wyoming, is the recipient of the 2008 AASL Frances Henne Award. The $1,250 award, sponsored by Greenwood Publishing Group, recognizes a school library media specialist with no more than five years of experience who demonstrates leadership qualities with students, teachers, and administrators....

AASL ABC-CLIO Leadership Grant winner
Su Eckhardt, president of the Colorado Association of School Libraries, is the recipient of the 2008 ABC-CLIO Leadership Grant. The grant of up to $1,750 is given to school library media associations affiliated with AASL in planning and implementing leadership programs at the state, regional, or local levels. It will support CASL and Technology in Education-Colorado’s (TIE) project, “Wireless Dreams,” a one-day conference targeting school librarians....

Barbara Powell-SchagerAASL Innovative Reading Grant winner
Barbara Powell-Schager, media specialist at the Big Shanty Intermediate School in Kennesaw, Georgia, is the recipient of the 2008 AASL Innovative Reading Grant. The goal of her project, titled “The Boys’ Lunch Bunch: Improving At-Risk Boys’ Reading,” is to increase reading interest and comprehension in at-risk boys by at least 125 points on the Scholastic Reading Inventory....

Collaborative School Library Media Award winners
Ronda Hassig and Kathy Hill of Harmony Middle School in Overland Park, Kansas, are the winners of the 2008 AASL Collaborative School Library Media Award. Hassig and Hill collaborated on a project, “A Small World—Technology Connecting Kids to Kids,” involving students in a problem-solving model to identify a world problem to research and look for viable solutions....

Forbes Medal showing likeness of Harvard University's Edward Waldo ForbesRadice receives AIC Forbes Medal
Institute of Museum and Library Services Director Anne-Imelda M. Radice received the Forbes Medal for Distinguished Contribution to the Field of Conservation from the American Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works at its annual meeting April 22 in Denver. Since its inception in 1994, the medal has been awarded to only six other nonconservators for their distinguished contributions to the field of conservation....
Institute of Museum and Library Service, Apr. 24

Cover of Down River2008 Edgar Award winners
Mystery Writers of America has annonced the winners of its 2008 Edgar Allen Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, nonfiction, television, film, and theatre published or produced in the past year. John Hart’s Down River (St. Martin’s Minotaur) won for best novel, Katherine Marsh’s The Night Tourist (Hyperion) won for best juvenile fiction, and Tedd Arnold’s Rat Life (Penguin) won for best young adult fiction....
Mystery Writers of America, May 1

Cover of Leaves, by David Ezra Stein2008 Ezra Jack Keats awards
Children’s book illustrator Jonathan Bean and writer David Ezra Stein will be awarded the 2008 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award for their outstanding work in children’s literature on May 15 in the New York Public Library’s Donnell Library Center. Stein will receive the New Writer Award for Leaves (G.P. Putnam’s Sons), while the New Illustrator Award will be granted to Bean, who illustrated The Apple Pie That Papa Baked (Simon & Schuster) by Lauren Thompson....
Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, May 1

LAPL honors Larry McMurtry
The stars came out for Lonesome Dove author Larry McMurtry April 30 at Los Angeles Public Library’s Literary Awards dinner. His friend, actress and photographer Diane Keaton, was there to hand him the award, but it was McMurtry himself who delivered the sorrowful note of the evening. Every eye was on his damp eyes as he read part of a Philip Larkin poem called “Going, Going.”...
Los Angeles Times, May 1

Shawntay A. HenryNational Poetry Recitation Contest winner
16-year-old Shawntay A. Henry of the U.S. Virgin Islands captured the audience with her poetry recitations April 29 and received the title of 2008 Poetry Out Loud National Champion. Henry received a $20,000 scholarship prize and her school, Charlotte Amalie High School, will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. She was among 12 finalists who participated in the third national poetry recitation contest, sponsored by the National Arts Endowment and the Poetry Foundation....
National Endowment for the Arts, Apr. 30

Miriam Braverman Memorial Prize
The Progressive Librarians Guild has awarded the 2008 Miriam Braverman Memorial Prize to Miriam Rigby for her essay titled “Just Throw It All Away! (And Other Thoughts I Have Had That May Bar Me from a Career in Archiving).” Rigby is currently enrolled in the MLIS program at the University of Washington’s Information School and plans to graduate this spring. The essay will be published in the forthcoming issue of Progressive Librarian....
Progressive Librarians Guild, Apr. 29

Barbara Bush Foundation grant winners
The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy has awarded a total of $647,029 to develop or expand 10 programs that will improve the literacy skills of parents and their children. Ranging in size from $63,432 to $65,000, the 10 winning grant applications were chosen from over 300 proposals, submitted by a wide variety of private nonprofit and public organizations including libraries, correctional institutions, universities, housing projects, and public schools....
Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, Apr. 24

Raj Kumar GandharbaCILIP Anthony Thompson Award
Raj Kumar Gandharba, recently promoted as executive director of the Jana Utthan Pratishan non-government organization in Nepal, is the winner of the 2008 Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals Anthony Thompson Award. His work includes management of community learning centers with special importance given to the underprivileged Dalit peoples. The award is a grant to bring young librarians to the United Kingdom to study library and information science....
Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, May 1

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Seen Online

The National Agricultural Library's Abraham Lincoln Building, Beltsville, MarylandNAL: A precious resource at risk
Flatlined for years, the National Agricultural Library’s budget is slated for drastic cuts in the fiscal year beginning October 1. The cuts could end the acquisition of new printed works, endanger the preservation of its special collections, halt document delivery, and turn a national library into a local one. Unless Congress votes to restore the money, a farmer or researcher will soon have to travel to Beltsville, Maryland, to investigate a new soil amendment, study an old crop rotation scheme, or gauge the progress of an invading weed....
Washington Post, May 1

Reading First interim report titleReading First initiative judged ineffective
President Bush’s $1-billion-a-year initiative to teach reading to low-income children has not helped improve their reading comprehension, according to a Department of Education report released May 1. The program, known as Reading First, was included in the No Child Left Behind legislation that passed in 2001. It has been a subject of dispute almost ever since, however, with the Bush administration and some state officials characterizing the program as beneficial for young students, and Congressional Democrats and federal investigators criticizing conflict of interest among its top advisers....
New York Times, May 2

Illinois legislator pushes DOPA again
The internet can be a buffet for sexual predators, and Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) would like to limit access to students at public libraries. Librarians, however, oppose the Deleting Online Predators Act that Kirk is cosponsoring. Kirk held a press conference May 5 in Mount Prospect, Illinois, to renew interest in the bill. He is also warning the Federal Trade Commission about the sexual dangers of Second Life, after an aide logged in last week....
Mount Prospect (Ill.) Times, May 6; Chicago Tribune, May 6

Wikiality featured as "The Wørd" on The Colbert Report, July 31, 2006.Truth: Do you know it when you see it?
“If it’s wrong” is the big if, the question that plagues librarians and teachers today. Of course, the information you see online might be right—in one study, published in Nature, Wikipedia was found to be only slightly less reliable than Encyclopedia Britannica. But without peer review, it’s so easy to be wrong, and for your wrongness to become the top Google hit on a subject, and for your wrongness to be repeated by other people who think it’s right, until everyone decides that it’s raining in Phoenix....
Washington Post, Apr. 27

Knife-wielding man at Ohio library
A man held a knife to his throat and threatened to kill himself May 7 at the Batavia branch of the Clermont County (Ohio) Public Library. The branch opened at 9 a.m., and the incident occurred a few minutes later, Interim Director Dave Mezack said. The man had used one of the library’s computers the previous night, and he pulled the knife after Branch Manager Leslie Jacobs said he couldn’t come into the library. Jacobs called the police, who subdued the man....
Cincinnati Inquirer, May 7

Armed man at University of Richmond eludes police
The University of Richmond planned to reopen May 7 under heightened security after school authorities locked down the campus the previous day in response to a suspicious, possibly armed man seen in the Boatwright Memorial Library. Efforts to locate a man, who first was spotted wearing a brown windbreaker with the word “sheriff” on the back, a navy T-shirt, and disguised in a fake gray beard were unsuccessful....
Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch, May 7

First Lady announces school library grants
First Lady Laura Bush was at the Fort Worth (Tex.) School District administration building April 30 to announce that her foundation was awarding more than $1.09 million in grants to 190 school libraries for 2008. The full list of schools (PDF file) is on the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries website....
Fort Worth (Tex.) Star-Telegram, May 1

Mushroom cloud photo; Courtesy of the National Nuclear Security Administration/Nevada Site OfficeNevada Test Site oral history
The University of Nevada at Las Vegas launched its first fully digitized oral history site, Nevada Test Site Oral History Project, April 27. The site compiles interviews with people who either contributed to the Nevada Test Site—an atomic testing site north of Las Vegas—or were affected by it in some way. Mary Palevsky, the director of the project, and a group of about 40 graduate students worked for four and a half years to create the site....
UNLV The Rebel Yell, May 1

UK police requesting more library records
Police forces are requesting information on the library borrowing records of individuals under police surveillance, British librarians have reported. The requests are understood to center on areas with a large Muslim population. John Pateman, head of libraries in Lincolnshire, criticized the development, saying it went against library ethics and could damage community cohesion....
The Bookseller, May 2

Cover of What Kids Are ReadingWhat do children read? Hint: Harry Potter’s Not No. 1
Children have welcomed the Harry Potter books in recent years like free ice cream in the cafeteria, but the largest survey ever of youthful reading in the United States by Renaissance Learning (PDF file) revealed May 5 that none of J.K. Rowling's phenomenally popular books has been able to dislodge the works of longtime favorites Dr. Seuss, E.B. White, Judy Blume, S.E. Hinton, and Harper Lee as the most read....
Washington Post, May 5

Librarian returns to Ethiopia to set up libraries
Born in rural Ethiopia to an illiterate cattle merchant who insisted upon his son’s education, Yohannes Gebregeorgis had seen a few books in school. Today, after getting an MLS and working as a children’s librarian in the U.S., he is establishing libraries and literacy programs to connect Ethiopian children with books. He established Ethiopia Reads in 1988 to open reading centers and donkey-pulled mobile libraries. “With literate children there is no limit as to how much we can do,” Gebregeorgis says....
CNN, May 1

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Tech Talk

Mio DigiWalker C520How to buy the right GPS
Molly K. McLaughlin writes: “The best way to shop for a personal navigation device is to start with the basics, including a large, readable display, preloaded maps, and a strong receiver. Next, you should tackle the question of how much control you want over your routes—many devices can help you avoid tolls, traffic, and even speeding tickets.” If the price tag is a problem, there are some less expensive options....
PC Magazine, Feb. 29, Apr. 4

BlackBerry in the liberry
Dan Overfield, business librarian at Villanova University, describes a pilot project in which three librarians traded their office phones for BlackBerry mobile devices: “Students, faculty, and colleagues can reach me at one telephone number, or via email, at any time, regardless of which building I am in, or whether or not I am even on campus. With emerging technology like Twitter I can make updates to my websites by simply texting them to my account. With the BlackBerry there is the potential to communicate with patrons without anyone having to be at a desk or in front of a computer.”...
ACRLog, May 6

Monster MP OTG400 WH Outlets To Go Power StripSocial hardware
Karen Schneider writes: “I brought this small travel power strip to the Information Architecture Summit 2008. It’s small, powerful, sturdy, folds up neatly, and is insanely useful. Some of its uses are obvious if you’ve ever been in a hotel room where you found yourself moving furniture to get to the second plug, but as someone at IA Summit 2008 commented, ‘It’s very social hardware!’”...
Free Range Librarian, May 3

How to analyze your site with
Ann Smarty writes: “Social bookmarking is not only a nice way to get more traffic and links, it’s also a most effective method to explore what people think about your site. The most powerful tool to track your content popularity at social bookmarking sites is URL search that shows you tags and descriptions people attached to a post when bookmarking.”...
Search Engine Journal, Apr. 28

All the spam in China (registration required)
Where do spam, viruses, and worms come from? Team Cymru, a security research firm in Burr Ridge, Illinois, ranks countries according to the number of internal internet addresses where malicious content originates. The worst offender? China, by far, followed by Brazil, Turkey, and the United States....
Technology Review, May/June 2008

Moving to Unicode 5.1
Mark Davis writes: “Google has just begun supporting Unicode 5.1, less than one month after it was released. It’s now available in search, so people speaking languages such as Malayalam can now search for words containing the new characters in Unicode 5.1. In December 2007, for the first time, we found that Unicode was the most frequent encoding found on web pages, overtaking both ASCII and Western European encodings—and by coincidence, within 10 days of one another.”...
Official Google Blog, May 5

Still from one of the ExtremeTech videos, showing an ATI HD2900 XT video cardHow to overclock your system
Overclocking—forcing a computer component to run at a higher clock rate than it was designed for to increase performance, especially for video games—can be mystifying and scary, particularly if you’ve never done it before. Figuring out the right set of components, understanding cooling solutions, and trying to sort out those mysterious BIOS settings can be confusing and complex. Extreme Tech offers a video tutorial on the basics....
Extreme Tech, Apr. 28

AL Buyers Guide ad

Actions & Answers

T-shirt for Fund Our FutureArizona petition supports school libraries
The Arizona Coalition for School Libraries and Information Technology launched a statewide petition in late April to provide Arizona citizens a forum to voice their support of school library programs. Arizona residents can support ACSLIT by signing the online petition. Non-residents can support school libraries by buying a “Fund Our Future” T-shirt....
Arizona Coalition for School Libraries and Information Technology, May 1

Tips for coordinating press events
Thinking of planning an event to publicize your library or spread awareness of a library issue? There are several factors to consider. Here are a few tips from Macey Morales, media relations manager for the ALA Public Information Office....

Phoenix Public Library Chavez branch, designed by Line and Space, LLCLibrary one of AIA’s top green projects
The Phoenix Public Library’s César Chávez branch in Laveen, Arizona, has been selected by the American Institute of Architects as one of the top 10 examples of sustainable design for 2008. Designed by Line and Space architects, the building uses extensive overhangs to protect from the sun’s radiation. The scarcity of water led to rooftop rainwater collection for irrigation, while water-reducing fictures are used indoors....
MSNBC, Apr. 22

Charles LowryLowry named ARL Executive Director
The Association of Research Libraries Board of Directors has appointed Charles B. Lowry executive director of the association, effective July 1, 2008. Lowry is currently dean of libraries at the University of Maryland, College Park. He will take a leave of absence to lead ARL for the next three years. When this limited term concludes, Lowry will return to teaching and research in the university’s iSchool....
Association of Research Libraries, Apr. 23

Emma Bradford PerryPerry elected to SACS
Emma Bradford Perry, professor and dean of libraries at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was recently elected to the Commission on Colleges for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In the 95-year history of the Commission on Colleges, she is the first librarian to serve as a commissioner....
Southern University System

African-American library directors in the United States
Two members of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association created this database of African-American library directors based on names and addresses received through the BCALA discussion list. Alonzo W. Hill, of the Independence Township Library in Clarkston, Michigan, and Reinette Jones of the University of Kentucky will also keep the database current....
Black Caucus of the American Library Association

Is this how we encourage people?
Meredith Farkas writes: “A person I’m friendly with in California wrote me asking for advice about a speaking gig he just got. He’s pretty new to the speaking thing (though he is excellent) and wants to grow his reputation as a speaker, but also doesn’t get funding from his institution for professional development. It’s sad that someone who is talented and enthusiastic about contributing to the profession is getting a bucket of cold water thrown in his face. He has so much to offer the profession, and yet he is being discouraged.”...
Information Wants To Be Free, May 5

Disruptive student blues
Jay Seidel writes: “Disruptive behavior such as sleeping, talking, and cell phones are easy to handle and most of us have policies about these topics spelled out. However, it’s the verbal altercations and threats of violence that are the ones that pose more of a challenge. Sometimes students can act out in violent ways for reasons that we have no clue as to why.”...
College Life, May 3

Interactive screen on the Mesopotamian demon PazuzuTeaching website highlights ancient Mesopotamia
Twelve-year-old students across the country are digging into the secrets of ancient Mesopotamia through a teaching website that lets them direct virtual archeological expeditions and curate museum exhibits with the excavated artifacts. The website, Ancient Mesopotamia: This History, Our History, examines gifts left to the modern world of the region that includes Iraq. It was developed by the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute Museum....
Institute of Museum and Library Services, May 5

Journal of e-Media Studies logoNew Journal of e-Media Studies
Dartmouth College Library has launched a new open-access digital publication, the Journal of e-Media Studies. Conceived of and edited by Mark Williams, associate professor of film and television studies, this new online journal showcases the best new scholarly work on current and historical issues regarding electronic media....
Dartmouth College Library

Cover of May Computers in LibrariesCitation searching: Search smarter and find more
Chelsea C. Hammond and Stephanie Willen Brown write: “At the University of Connecticut, we have been enticing graduate students to join student trainers to learn how to answer the following questions and improve the breadth of their research: Do you need to find articles published outside your primary discipline? What are some seminal articles in your field? Have you ever wanted to know who cited an article you wrote? We are participating in Elsevier’s Student Ambassador Program in which graduate students train their peers on ‘citation searching’ research using Scopus and Web of Science.”...
Computers in Libraries 28, no. 5 (May)

Statement of International Cataloguing Principles
Barbara Tillett, chair of the IFLA Meeting of Experts on an International Cataloguing Code, is asking for comments from the worldwide library community on the final draft of the Statement of International Cataloguing Principles and its accompanying Glossary. Comments are due by June 30 to Barbara Tillett....

Joint statement on RDA
A May 1 letter from LC Associate Librarian for Library Services Deanna Marcum provides the joint statement of the Library of Congress, the National Library of Medicine, and the National Agricultural Library on Resource Description and Access. The three institutions agreed that these steps will be followed and, if there is a decision to implement RDA, that the implementation would not occur before the end of 2009....
Cataloging Futures, May 2

LC Subject Headings suggestions: The results
Radical Reference’s LCSH blog-a-thon resulted in suggestions for 24 subject headings, 6 cross-references, and 2 subdivisions. Members of Radical Reference hope to work with catalogers, particularly those from the RADCAT discussion list, to SACOfy suggested headings that haven’t previously been submitted to LC in a formal manner....
Radical Reference, Apr. 29

Barbara (Oracle) Gordon at work; DC ComicsLibrarians in comic books
Robert Hulshof-Schmidt writes: “The vast majority of caped and masked superheroes are either scientists or socialites (or both, in the case of Tony [Iron Man] Stark), identities that lend themselves to flexible hours and personal fortunes. But where are the librarians? Surely information professionals deserve their place in the pursuit of truth and justice. And we are there, if in somewhat smaller numbers. Certainly the most famous costumed librarian is Barbara Gordon (right). By day the librarian daughter of Gotham City’s police commissioner, by night Barbara donned cape and cowl as Batgirl.”...
“Look! Up in the Sky! It’s a . . . Librarian,” Oregon Library Association Quarterly 14, no. 1 (Spring): 7–8, 27

Second Life and the Public Good logoSecond Life and the public good
The University of Southern California’s Network Culture Project has invited residents of Second Life to imagine new ways that virtual worlds such as Second Life can be used to make a contribution to the public good. They are currently accepting proposals from groups, organizations, or individuals for projects that show how Second Life can enhance, develop, or sustain the public good. Three finalists will be provided with a $100,000L per month building stipend (and land, if required) for three months. Proposals are due June 1....
University of Southern California Network Culture Project, May 2

Cover of Little Brother, by Cory DoctorowLittle Brother = le awesome YA sci-fi
Danah Boyd writes: “Although I've always been eh about most sci-fi, I’ve grown increasingly fond of young adult science fiction and sci-fi focused on teens. There’s something fun in reading about teens running around trying to save the world. I can thank/blame Cory Doctorow for most of this because he’s the one who got me hooked on reading it. So I’m super super super stoked to announce that his first young adult sci-fi book is on the shelves.” Doctorow is offering a free copy to librarians and teachers; email your request to Olga Nunes....
Apophenia, May 1; Boing Boing, May 6

News from the digital music universe
Joseph Wilk writes: “This past month has witnessed a lot of news and developments in the world of digital music, whether major acquisitions, new studies on teen habits, and cool new technologies. Here’s an extensive rundown” that includes news from MySpace, imeem, MOG, and Pitchfork Media....
YALSA Blog, May 3

Better Hearing & Speech Month logo 2008May is Better Hearing and Speech Month
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has designated May as Better Hearing and Speech Month to provide opportunities to raise awareness about communication disorders and to promote treatment that can improve the quality of life for those who experience problems with speaking, understanding, or hearing. This year, the campaign is offering five downloadable bookmarks (PDF file), a children’s activity book, and a BHSM poster....
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Open Access Directory wiki
Peter Suber and Robin Peek have compiled some factual lists about open access to science and scholarship, maintained by the OA community at large. By bringing many OA-related lists together in one place, the wiki will make it easier for users, especially newcomers, to find them and use them for reference. The easier they are to maintain and discover, the more effectively they can spread useful, accurate information about OA....
Open Access Directory

Still from Facebook in Reality sketchFacebook in reality
Comedy from Idiots of Ants, a British comedy sketch group. What would it be like if Facebook was actually played out in real life? As featured on the BBC Three show The Wall. Featuring Elliott Tiney, Benjamin Wilson, and Andrew Spiers....
YouTube, Apr. 28

ALA Annual Conference logo

ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California, June 26–July 2. May 16 is the last day to pre-register, and on May 28 the housing reservations close.

Get Smart @ your library poster

Steve Carell stars in the upcoming
movie Get Smart, based on the popular
television series and due for release June 20. Get prepared with this smart-looking ALA poster. “Would you believe that you can get smart @ your library even without a cone of silence?” NEW! From ALA Graphics.

In this issue
May 2008

Cover of May 2008 issue

Laura Bush Talks about Her Plans

The Elusive E-Book

Killed by Kindness

Teens and Computer Games

2008 Outstanding Reference Sources

Anaheim Advocacy Institute ad

Career Leads from
ALA Joblist logo

Curator of Manuscripts, Lilly Library, Indiana University Bloomington. Manages acquisitions of manuscript materials for Lilly Library, including selection of materials acquired by purchase and gift. Consults with Lilly Library Director on collection development policy. In consultation with Head of Technical Services and in coordination with Manuscripts Cataloger, determines priorities of collections to be processed and cataloged. Curates exhibitions of Lilly Library materials, and consults with other curators....

@ More jobs...

Take action logo

Legislation has been introduced in both the Senate and House that limits remedies in copyright infringement cases involving orphan works. As time is running out, the ALA Washington Office asks that you contact your Senators and Representatives (with priority given to members of the Senate), to communicate the library community’s enthusiastic support for orphan works legislation that does not include a dark archive provision (mandating that users file a notice to the U.S. Copyright Office before using an orphan work).

Digital Library of the Week

The Yerkes refracting telescope, Williams Bay, Wisconsin, USA, 1915. Photograph of the eyepiece end of the 40 inch refracting telescope inside the dome. Picture Reference: 10418885

The Science and Society Picture Library in South Kensington, London, represents over a million images from the UK Science Museum; the National Museum of Photography, Film, and Television; and the National Railway Museum. SSPL now has over 150 image collections from both within and outside the museums’ core collections. These contain over 70,000 online records, including more than 40,000 digital images. Collections nclude 4,000 personalities, the Daily Herald and Manchester Daily Express archives, and the work of Julia Margaret Cameron, William Henry Fox Talbot, and Tony Ray-Jones. The library provides transparencies and digital images on loan to clients for reproduction. A small service fee is charged for the loan of the images.

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

“I was walking near the downtown Seattle Public Library and felt strongly that it was the ‘center’ of everything in Seattle. I went inside the library and my feelings were confirmed. I felt really intelligent and existentially superior while inside the library, talking on Gmail chat on a public computer, walking around taking cell-phone pictures of red walls. I had the feeling I could look out the window and see the rest of the city, from a ‘bird’s-eye view,’ though this was not true, there was not an elevated area that I knew of where I could do that like I might from the Empire State Building. Still, walking on the street toward the library, I felt that I was ‘nearing’ the ‘epicenter’ of Seattle, and walking away from the library I felt like I was leaving behind the ‘main activity’ of my day.”

—Tao Lin, “What I Can Tell You About Seattle Based on the People I’ve Met Who Are From There (I’m from Brooklyn),” in the Seattle alternative weekly newspaper The Stranger, Apr. 29.

Children's Book Week poster designed by Mary GrandPre

Children’s Book Week will be celebrated by libraries, schools, bookstores, and families across the country May 12–18 with storytelling, parties, author and illustrator appearances, and other book-related events. The Children’s Book Council sponsors the event. Harry Potter illustrator Mary GrandPré designed this year’s official poster. A downloadable CBW bookmark created by Gene Yang is available online.

Ask the ALA Librarian

Survey question marks

Q. I am trying to create a survey for programming. We’ve just recently opened a renovated building and I want to get an idea from the community what types of programs they would like to see in our new space. I was wondering if ALA had a basic programming survey that I could use or at least review to give me a starting point?

A. ALA does not have any sample patron surveys on its website. However, several public libraries have made their own patron surveys available online, and you can view these for further assistance. See our Patron Surveys page. From the ALA Professional Tips wiki for more.

@ The ALA Librarian welcomes your questions.


May 13–16:

Association of Canadian Map Libraries and Archives / Canadian Cartographic Association,
Carto 2008, University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

May 26–30:
Canadian Health Libraries Association,
Conference, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

May 29–June 1:
BookExpo America,
Los Angeles Convention Center.

June 4–6:
Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries,
Annual Conference, Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, Michigan. “Growing Awareness: The Whys and Hows of Marketing Your Library.” Contact: Shelly Kilroy.

June 4:
National Information Standards Organization,
NASIG preconference on “Metadata in a Digital Age,” Tapatio Cliffs Resort, Phoenix.

June 5–8:
North American Serials Interest Group,
Annual Conference, Tapatio Cliffs Resort, Phoenix. “Taking the Sting out of Serials.” Contact: NASIG.

June 8–20:
Oral History Research Office,
Columbia University Libraries, Summer Institute, New York City. “Oral History, Advocacy, and the Law.” Contact: (212) 854-7083.

June 11–14:
Association of Canadian Archivists,
Annual Conference, Crowne Plaza Fredericton Lord Beaverbrook Hotel, New Brunswick. “Stemming the Tide.”

June 12–15:
Association des Bibliothécaires de France,
54th Congress, Reims. “Par cours en bibliothèques.”

June 25–28:
American Theological Library Association,
Annual Conference, St. Paul University, Ottawa, Ontario. “La connexion française.”

June 29–
July 2:

National Educational Computing Conference,
San Antonio, Texas. “Convene, Connect, Transform.” Contact: ISTE.

July 23–25:
Art Libraries Society UK and Ireland,
Annual Conference, University of Liverpool.

July 23–26:
National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators,
Annual Meeting, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta. “All Roads Lead to Records: Making the Journey Count.”

July 28–31:
World Congress on Reading,
San José, Costa Rica. “Reading in a Diverse World.” Contact: International Reading Association.

Aug. 3–7:
International Association of School Librarianship,
Annual Conference, University of California, Berkeley. “World Class Learning and Literacy through School Libraries.” Contact: Blanche Woolls.

Aug. 10–14:
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions,
World Library and Information Congress, Québec City, Québec. “Libraries Without Borders: Navigating Towards Global Understanding.” ALA members can register at the IFLA Member Rate using the ALA membership code of US-0002. Contact: IFLA.

Sept. 2–5:
Australian Library and Information Association,
Biennial Conference, Alice Springs Convention Centre, Northern Territory. “Dreaming08.”

Sept. 9–12:
American Association for State and Local History,
Annual Meeting, Hyatt Regency, Rochester, New York. “Discovering the Power of Transformation.”

Sept. 12–13:
Center for the History of Print Culture in Modern America,
Conference, Madison, Wisconsin. “The Culture of Print in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine.”

Sept. 14–18:
International Association of Aquatic and Marine Science Libraries and Information Centers,
Annual Conference, Suva, Fiji. “Sustainability in a Changing Climate.”

@ More...

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